Inside the world's most powerful physical machine


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Nuclear Research Organization (CERN) is one of the largest particle accelerators ever built, with the mission of finding evidence of new materials.


The control center is CERN's most important place. Right at the gate is a large panel reminding the giant accelerator LHC underground.


The LHC is located in an underground tunnel system at a depth of 100m underground, which prevents radiation rays from colliding from escaping underground. The tunnel in the LHC is 25.7 km long.


Many monitors display important information to control and operate the accelerator's operation.


The display shows reviews and information coming from accelerators, electrical systems, and other technical alerts. This information is monitored 24/7.


Control room is arranged in the shape of quadrupole magnet. Each pole is for a different accelerator. Here not only the LHC but also many other accelerations are controlled and operated.


In the middle of the control room was a meeting table, to inform and exchange important events.


The control center is operated by physicists and engineers who are responsible for monitoring the operation of the LHC and other accelerators. The oldest accelerator at CERN was built in 1959.


The staff here works in 8-hour shifts. When changing shifts, newcomers will be fully reported on what happened before.

Empty bottles of champagne lined up in a row below the monitor screen showed constant good news.
The working environment at the control center is very focused, but whenever there are important findings, they all celebrate with champagne. Empty bottles of champagne lined up in a row below the monitor screen showed constant good news.


Contrary to popular belief, the control center is a quiet, crowded place.


This panel is one of the most important equipment here. It allows control of the operation of the LHC as well as access to various parts of the accelerator.


Activity under the tunnel is monitored by security cameras.


To enter the tunnel, staff need to wear a helmet, special shoes, oxygen and oxygen alarms.