How to Build a Large Hadron Collider

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 or Vista)
  • Shovel
  • Work Gloves
  • Protective Glasses

Step 1: Dig

Dig a circular trench of 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 preinstalled 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 travelling 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.

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.


CERN – Large Hadron Collider Facts and Figures

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

  9 comments for “How to Build a Large Hadron Collider

  1. help please
    May 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    You didn’t mention the strength of the magnets, what kind of particles are needed, or what should be used to power the main accelerator unit.

  2. May 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for asking. Your Large Hadron Collider magnets should operate at a field strength of approximately 8.36 Tesla. Try not to go over this point – as we all know, anything nearing the 10 Tesla mark is pushing the upper limit of niobium-titanium acceleration capacity.

    Your subatomic particles should be hadrons. You could try baryons or mesons etc, but you’d have to change the name of your collider. Personally, I find that Large Baryon Collider sounds kind of stupid.

    Depending upon the size of your accelerator ring, you’ll probably need between 150 to 300 megawatts of electricity.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

  3. Jim Brown
    March 15, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Windows VISTA? You sure about that?

    • March 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Well, no, not entirely. But everyone likes a challenge, right?

  4. Jim Brown
    March 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I’m planning building one of these for my daughter’s 16th birthday- big problem is getting the magnets. A friend suggested I “liberate” any fridge magnets I encounter when visiting the neighbours etc. So far I have 2, so that’s only another 9298…. Getting there.

    Regarding the trench, I thought I’d have a “trench party”- get some beers in and get the guys digging, have a barbeque afterwards. One thought I had was to make sure I invite the neighbours, that way they won’t mind me stealing their fridge magnets or running a trench through their swimming pools.

    Lucky for me my wife works for a clothing place, so we’re good for gloves and goggles. My brother has a few shovels left over from a recent garden project, and he also kindly offered the use of an extension cord.

    Also it’s heading for winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, so that should help keep things down near absolute zero.

    • March 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      A trench party sounds like a good idea. And you’ll definitely need beer, ain’t no fun digging when you’re sober. If you have a zoo nearby, you could sneak in at night and “borrow” an elephant. Those things are awesome for dragging and lifting heavy objects.

      Good luck. Be careful with temporal anomalies during the testing phase.

  5. JohnMichael
    June 16, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I would like to ask. How to build the Hadron Collider. In this tutorial, the LHC is already built. I was thinking of building a miniature version of the LHC making it SHC(Small Hadron Collider) and do some experiments in it. Particle accelerations are not that powerful but its a start. I would like to study how to achieve the speed of light, using small amount of energy.

    Does the Hadron Collider follow the concept of a railgun? Its almost the same, LHC requires a huge amount of energy to achieve the speed of light. On the other hand, Railgun can only achieve 3x the speed of sound. but its almost identical to each other.


    • August 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      I think your idea for a Small Hadron Collider (SHC) is perfectly viable. The Large Hadron Collider could be considered a massive hypercharged homopolar motor, in which case there are some similarities with electromagnetic projectile launchers such as the railgun. Containment would obviously be a concern, especially when reaching near-light or even half-light speeds. You would have to secure everything to a core unit, perhaps using a series of concrete blocks, to prevent the unit from exploding or disappearing altogether. Please let me know how your experiments progress.

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