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Katherine Copic | USLHC | USA

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Sights and sounds of the ATLAS cavern

One of my favorite things about moving to CERN two years ago was being able to work inside the ATLAS detector while it was still being constructed. The first time I went down to see the detector in 2006, I was on an official tour and could only walk around the outside of it. When I returned as a postdoc in 2007, I got to wear a real helmet with a headlamp and climb ladders into the detector itself. I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole day. It was hot down there in the summer, and loud, and sometimes dim in the place where you wished there was more light (hence the headlamp), but I had a lot of fun being there.

inside ATLAS

When I recently discovered Peter McCready’s website with images of the ATLAS cavern, the thing that impressed me most was the sound associated with the images. It’s not much, but the background noise of clanking and hammering really took me back to the days I spent there. On his site, you, too, can visit the ATLAS cavern and hear the sounds of the work being done. Use your mouse to look around, as though you are turning your head left, right, up or down.  You can also look down the length of the Large Hadron Collider tunnel.  In one image of the CMS detector, you can see the pipe that the LHC beam will go through, as though it is above your head!  You can also click to the next image using the black arrows to the left and right to see more of CMS, ATLAS, and the LHC.

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