Physicist creates scale model of LHC ATLAS experiment of out LEGO blocks

Dec 30, 2011 by Bob Yirka report

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland has generated a lot of news of late, e.g. the announcement that a team had found what it believes to be a particle that traveled faster than he speed of light, an actual new particle, and of course the seemingly never-ending storyline associated with the hopeful discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson, now a physicist not associated with the project, has built a scale model replica of the ATLAS experiment; a particle detector that will likely serve as ground zero should the so-called “god particle” ever be observed.

The project, as described by its builder, Sasha Mehlhase, a physicist with the Niels Bohr Institute took almost thirty five hours to build and cost two thousand Euros (paid for by the high energy physics group at the university). The point of building the replica, he says, is to incite interest in physics. Plus, no doubt, it was sort of fun.

The is a type of cyclotron, or particle accelerator. It’s hollow and circular, sort of like a giant hula-hoop and sits underground where particles are made to run faster and faster inside of it using very powerful magnets. The sits at one point on the circle and allows researchers the ability to watch as particles go whizzing by. The hope is that in observing particles moving at high speeds or when they collide, that new discoveries about the nature of the universe will be made.

The real ATLAS project is 44 meters long and 22 meters wide and weighs 7000 tonnes. Mehlhase’s model, at approximately 1:50 scale is approximately 1 meter long by a half meter wide. And while the real deal has millions of parts, the model has 9500 pieces, mostly LEGO blocks.

Mehlhase first tried to model the ATLAS on computer, but then apparently found the undertaking untenable. Abandoning that approach, he set to work replicating the ATLAS by simply mimicking what it looked like. His wife and some students helped sort the blocks, but he alone assembled the model, which he says he tried to model as closely as one could using simple plastic bricks. To give some perspective, he modeled some tiny physicists as well.

Mehlhase says he’s contacted LEGO (a Danish company) in hopes of having his model included as one of the model kits sold by the company, though he hasn’t yet made a manual. He’d like to see similar models constructed in schools all over the world.

The finished product, an obvious labor of love, is now on display at the Institute.

Explore further: IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

More information: sascha.mehlhase.info/physics.php?open=atlaslego

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User comments : 18

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btb101
not rated yet Dec 30, 2011
where can i buy one?

the lego version not the real thing lol.

really hope this gets marketed..
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (52) Dec 30, 2011
Pretty neat. I would have thought that a computer model would surely have already existed,... then he could have maybe used a 3D printer.
Isaacsname
4.9 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2011

Rossi might want to explore this method......
typicalguy
5 / 5 (16) Dec 30, 2011
This thing should be dismantled before it creates a black hole made entire of Lego's.
omatumr
Dec 30, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
omatumr
Dec 30, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
omatumr
Dec 30, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
thuber
1 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2011
As long as this was a labor of love, and he was not paid for the time, I think its great and I hope it is marketed.
FrankHerbert
3.2 / 5 (26) Dec 30, 2011
MODERATORS: Why is omatumr exempt from the following?
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Isaacsname
5 / 5 (11) Dec 30, 2011
I think there's only a rule against " Pointless verbiage ", not " Endless_and_pointless verbiage ".

Maybe I've been doing something wrong ?
bewertow
3.9 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2011
why is omaturd not banned yet? His posts are so annoying.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2011
where can i buy one?

the lego version not the real thing lol.

really hope this gets marketed..
See, I always thought Revell or somebody could make money selling kits of intricate physics experiments like tokamaks and accelerators. You see computer models and sometimes plastic ones at the facilities and think it would be fun to build one.

This one would cost a lot:
http://www.canadi...le/59062
why is omaturd not banned yet? His posts are so annoying.
Why hasnt anyone been banned? Why hasnt frank been banned? Hey frank why havent you been banned? Why havent I been banned (again)?
Isaacsname
5 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2011
There's such an oddly amusing quality to the comment section here, it's somehow like watching two balding men fight over a comb that's missing teeth.

...I just cannot bear to look away.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (68) Dec 30, 2011
:)

I mind Omatuers posts less than I mind members accusing others of racist comments via PM, and using multiple screen names. :)

I don't see Omatuer being abusive and rude to other members here, but I do see FrankHubris doing so.
Anda
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2011
We all deserve to be banned, mostly Omatumr, theghostofotto1923, Noumenon and of course myself.
Ah, and Rawa1 who's missing today...
Callippo
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 30, 2011
Apparently many people cannot live without censorship at all. Are you visiting PO from Cuba or North Korea?
_nigmatic10
3 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2011
Force #3 produced (continued . . .)

4. An overlooked message* of Hope
5. Earth and its elements ~ 5 Gyr ago
6. The star of Bethlehem ~2012 yrs ago
7. The vaporization of Hiroshima 56 yrs ago, &
8. Fear in world leaders who futilely tried to
__i.) Unite Nations against Global Climate Change and
__ii.) Control access to information on Nuclear Energy

*Overlooked message of Hope:
https://dl-web.dr...b5004648


This is strangely like the collider. When random pieces of matter come together with great force, random cr_p goes everywhere with seemingly no rhyme or reason.

As to the censorship over pointless verbiage on these forums, it is pointless and often seems user base driven on judgement over the post, which makes it bias in some instances.

I should know. Getting a warning over ANSWERING a question post that relates to the article is silly, at best.
aroc91
Dec 31, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Sinister1811
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 31, 2011
I should know. Getting a warning over ANSWERING a question post that relates to the article is silly, at best.


That happened to you too? It's all "pointless verbiage" to the Physorg moderators.
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2011
But back on topic. This is pretty cool. They must have put a lot of effort into building that.
hagger
5 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2011
but..where are the window's.
Au-Pu
1 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2012
Tis a pity Sasha didn't spend the time on physics problems.
Problems that the university pays to be attended to.
Thus the time spent might have been more fruitful.