CMS celebrates the lowering of its final detector element

January 22, 2008

In the early hours of the morning the final element of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector began the descent into its underground experimental cavern in preparation for the start-up of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) this summer. This is a pivotal moment for the CMS collaboration, as the experiment is the first of its kind to be constructed above ground and then lowered, element by element, 100 metres below. It marks the culmination of eight years of work in the surface hall, and moves CMS into final commissioning before registering proton-proton collisions at the LHC.

The journey started 14 months ago, when the first of 15 elements of the CMS detector was carefully lowered, with just a few centimetres of leeway, by a huge gantry crane, custom-built by the VSL group. The final element is an asymmetrical cap that fits into the barrel element of the experiment and weighs around 1430 tonnes. It includes fragile detectors that will help identify and measure the energy of particles created in LHC collisions.

“CMS is unique in the way that the detector was constructed in very large elements in a surface assembly building and then lowered underground”, explained Austin Ball, CMS Technical Coordinator. “This is likely to become a model for future experiments, as the technique can now be considered proven.”

There are many advantages to planning an experiment in this way, such as the ability to save time by working simultaneously on the detector while the experimental cavern was being excavated. There were also fewer risks when working on the surface, and elements of detector could be tested together before lowering them.

Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to take a big leap on a journey that started with Newton's description of gravity. Gravity is ubiquitous since it acts on mass, but so far science is unable to explain why particles have the masses they have. Experiments such as CMS may provide the answer.

LHC experiments will also probe the mysterious missing mass and dark energy of the Universe, they will investigate the reason for nature's preference for matter over antimatter, probe matter as it existed close to the beginning of time and look for extra dimensions of spacetime.

“This is a very exciting time for physics,” said CMS spokesman Tejinder Virdee, “the LHC is poised to take us to a new level of understanding of our Universe.”

Source: CERN

Explore further: LHC achieves record luminosity

Related Stories

LHC achieves record luminosity

November 14, 2017

It's the end of the road for the protons this year after a magnificent performance from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). On Friday, the final beams of the 2017 proton run circulated in the LHC. The run ended, as it does every ...

On top of the top quark—new ATLAS experiment results

September 27, 2017

Physicists from the ATLAS Experiment at CERN have presented exciting new results at the 10th International Workshop on Top Quark Physics (TOP2017), held in Braga (Portugal). The conference brought together experimental ...

Upgrading the CERN LHC's CMS experiment detector

March 24, 2017

Sometimes big questions require big tools. That's why a global community of scientists designed and built gigantic detectors to monitor the high-energy particle collisions generated by CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, ...

First physics from the Large Hadron Collider's CMS detector

February 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists working on the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC have just published results of the first analysis of data from the highest energy particle collisions ever carried out, bringing us another step closer ...

Hunt for dark matter closes in at Large Hadron Collider

January 26, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists are closer than ever to finding the source of the Universe's mysterious dark matter, following a better than expected year of research at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) particle detector, part ...

CERN CMS releases 300 terabytes of research data from LHC

April 25, 2016

Today, the CMS Collaboration at CERN has released more than 300 terabytes (TB) of high-quality open data. These include over 100 TB, or 2.5 inverse femtobarns (fb−1), of data from proton collisions at 7 TeV, making up half ...

Recommended for you

Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

November 17, 2017

Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.

Strain-free epitaxy of germanium film on mica

November 17, 2017

Germanium, an elemental semiconductor, was the material of choice in the early history of electronic devices, before it was largely replaced by silicon. But due to its high charge carrier mobility—higher than silicon by ...

New imaging technique peers inside living cells

November 16, 2017

To undergo high-resolution imaging, cells often must be sliced and diced, dehydrated, painted with toxic stains, or embedded in resin. For cells, the result is certain death.

The stacked color sensor

November 16, 2017

Red-sensitive, blue-sensitive and green-sensitive color sensors stacked on top of each other instead of being lined up in a mosaic pattern – this principle could allow image sensors with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.