Large Hadron Collider construction

Sector 3-4 of the Large Hadron Collider. It may look complicated, but you too can build something similar. Photo by Maximilien Brice (CERN).

The original Large Hadron Collider took 30 years to build at a cost of more than $6.4 billion. By copying the design of the existing machine, it is possible to build your own Large Hadron Collider with minimal cost and far less effort.

Large Hadron Collider Construction


Large Hadron Collider Construction (ironsylvester, photobucket)

What you will need for your Large Hadron Collider:

  • 9,300 magnets
  • 10,000 tons of liquid nitrogen (minimum)
  • 90 tons of liquid helium (minimum)
  • 17 miles of concrete-lined piping (approx)
  • Main accelerator unit
  • Subatomic particles
  • Computer (Windows XP, Vista, 8.1 or 10)
  • Shovel
  • Work Gloves
  • Protective Glasses

Step 1: Dig

Dig a circular trench approximately 160 feet in depth. The radius of the circular trench should be calculated in order to accommodate the 17 miles of concrete-lined piping. Place the piping into the trench, connecting it all together.

Step 2: Bury

Attach the 9,300 magnets to the piping at regular intervals. These magnets will be used to force your protons, neutrons, quarks etc. through the tunnel. Connect everything together (wires, switches, refrigeration piping, main accelerator unit) before burying the entire assembly. Make sure to run a cable to the surface in order to connect the Large Hadron Collider to your desktop computer or laptop.

Step 3: Plug In Your Large Hadron Collider

Plug in all of the main elements of your Large Hadron Collider. If no power sockets are located nearby, simply run an extension cable from your home to the construction site. Turn on your computer and confirm that all systems are functioning correctly.

Step 4: Cool

Your magnets must be kept at superconducting temperatures (-271.3°C). Cool your magnets by first mixing together 10,000 tons of liquid nitrogen with 90 tons of liquid helium. Be sure to put on your protective gloves and goggles in case of spills. Pour the mixture onto the magnets via the pre-installed refrigeration piping.

Step 5: Accelerate

You are now ready to accelerate the subatomic particles through the main tunnel. Engage the main accelerator unit and fire two particle beams in opposing directions around the tunnel.

Step 6: Watch Carefully for Hadron Collision Results


Look out for Higgs Bosom Fusion (Booyabazooka, Wikimedia Commons)

Watch carefully for any signs of impact. The particles will be traveling at 99.99% the speed of light, meaning that you will not have long to wait until the collision takes place.

Various things could happen or maybe nothing at all. Things to look out for include natural supersymmetry, the appearance of extra dimensions, Higgs bosom, interesting quark flavors and cataclysmic black holes. Be sure to have a camera and/or pen and paper close at hand in order to record events. If you photograph something interesting, upload to Instagram with #CERN.

Step 7: Diversify

Most people aren’t interested in subatomic particles, so try using your new Large Hadron Collider for other collision experiments. Your tunnels should be large enough to accommodate inanimate objects such as rocks and household items, and biological test subjects such as pot plants, pets and small children.

Remember, science never ends — and science is fun!


CERN – Large Hadron Collider Facts and Figures

Symmetry Breaking – Free online: Full documentation for the Large Hadron Collider

The CERN site is pretty big, so don’t worry if your Large Hadron Collider doesn’t cover so much space. You can always expand over time. Photo by Maximilien Brice (CERN).