Exploring the universe at CERN – Physicist Joe Incandela announced the discovery of the Higgs boson on July 4, 2012. The mosaic of photos of colleagues spells "CMS," which stands for Compact Muon Solenoid. CMS is one of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider that detected the particle.
Exploring the universe at CERN – The Large Hadron Collider is located at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland. This is CERN's Globe of Science and Innovation, which hosts a small museum about particle physics inside. The ATLAS experiment, which also detected the Higgs boson, is housed underground nearby.
Exploring the universe at CERN – The Higgs boson, the elusive particle that scientists had hoped to find for decades, helps explain why matter has mass. This is part of CMS, one one of the experiments that detected the particle.
Exploring the universe at CERN – The ATLAS experiment, seen here in 2011, is about two stories taller than CMS. The Higgs boson has been called the "God particle" because of a book by that title, but scientists hate the name.
Exploring the universe at CERN – Much of three stories of electronics at CMS are involved in making split-second decisions about what data to keep and what to discard. This is one of those areas.
Exploring the universe at CERN – A technician works on the CMS experiment. Technicians are adding new cooling lines for CMS for a system that will be put in place in two or three years.
Exploring the universe at CERN – Joe Incandela, the spokesperson for CMS, says that about 4,000 scientists collaborate on the experiment. Behind him is a new red-colored layer to improve the detection of muons, which are fundamental particles
Exploring the universe at CERN – Physicists in the CMS control room. Although the particle accelerator is shut down until 2015, this is a busy time for everyone involved in upgrading the particle detectors and analyzing data from the first run of particle collisions.
Exploring the universe at CERN – The nearly 14,000 tons of machinery can all collapse together, or separate, when high-pressure air is pumped in. This is one of the pads to help slide it all around.
Exploring the universe at CERN – CMS has 76,000 lead-tungstate crystals that shatter electrons and photons, allowing scientists to observe particles such as the Higgs boson that exist for only an instant. Some of those crystals are in the endcap.
Exploring the universe at CERN – Evaldas Juska, an engineer, is working on computers involved with CMS.
Exploring the universe at CERN – CMS was constructed at ground level, then pieces of it were lowered through this hole in the cavern.
Exploring the universe at CERN – This is the CERN Computing Center. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web at CERN.
Exploring the universe at CERN – One of the world's first web servers, a NeXT computer from 1991, is seen at CERN. The handwritten note indicates, "This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN!" On the right is an old Ethernet cable, which can handle only 10 Mb/second, and was largely replaced by the mid-'90s.
Exploring the universe at CERN – While they take their work seriously, that doesn't mean the scientists at CERN don't have a sense of humor. Here we see CERN's "Animal Shelter for Computer Mice," where used and unwanted computer mice have a place to call home.
Exploring the universe at CERN – CERN's Restaurant 1 has a water fountain with options such as "order," "chaos" and "self-destruct." CNN's Elizabeth Landau tasted all three and could not detect a difference.
Exploring the universe at CERN – A sculpture garden featuring artwork made from pieces of old experiments decorates the grounds at CERN.
Exploring the universe at CERN – A collection of empty relics from the celebrations of different milestones of the CMS experiment.
Exploring the universe at CERN – "Don't feed the physicists" marks a box of coins where CMS scientists deposit change to pay for coffee.