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CERN’s ATLAS detector goes on tour

More than a cardboard cut-out (credit: DESY)

By Michael Banks

The ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is going on tour. Not the real one of course, but a 150 kg wooden replica of the cathedral-sized detector.

Technicians at the DESY particle-physics lab in Hamburg were commissioned last year by DESY physicist Thomas Naumann to build a model of CERN’s huge detector at 1/25th of the actual size.

Taking over seven months to build, the model is made entirely from wood with only aluminium tubes used for the six magnet coils that surround the detector. The wooden replica is almost two metres in length and one meter wide.

The model was first on show as part of the Weltmaschine exhibition that ran in a subway station in Berlin from October to November last year.

175 Modell Atlas-Detektor.jpg
(credit: DESY)

“The model helps to explain the function of the different detector components – the tracker, the calorimeters, the muon system and the large toroidal magnets,” says Naumann, who uses the model to explain the detector to DESY visitors and members of the public.

Due to popular demand the exhibition has now gone on tour. If anyone missed the opening show at the Hamburg harbour festival on 8 May, then the next tour dates are 13 June at Hamburg University, 19 June at the long night of science in Dresden and 5 July at DESY with further shows planned in Göttingen and Heidelberg later in the year.

Once the tour has finished the ATLAS replica will go back to DESY. “The model will be in the DESY foyer where it is a nice object welcoming visitors,” says Naumann.

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One comment to CERN’s ATLAS detector goes on tour

    This tour and an open dialogue with questioning members of the public are definitely needed to counter increasingly recent negative publicity about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel


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