By Hamish Johnston at CERN
Today I had the immense good fortune of seeing the insides of the CMS detector at CERN.
The huge detector was pulled open and I could see all the various layers that are used to track the vast numbers of particles that are produced when protons collide at the Large Hadron Collider.
Unlike earlier photos of the detector that were taken when it was being built, the beamline is still intact as it passes through the CMS – a plain black conduit suspended many metres above the floor. You can see the beamline poking out from the centre of the detector in the photo on the right.
Imperial College’s Jim Virdee was our tour guide, and he told us how several military technologies from the former Soviet Union have been put to good use in the detector. These include brass shell casings that were melted down to make components for the detector.