The Fantastic Machine That Found the Higgs Boson

On July 4, scientists working with data from ongoing experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of a new particle "consistent with" the Higgs boson -- a subatomic particle also colloquially referred to as the "God particle." After years of design and construction, the LHC first sent protons around its 27 kilometer (17 mile) underground tunnel in 2008. Four years later, the LHC's role in the discovery of the Higgs boson provides a final missing piece for the Standard Model of Particle Physics -- a piece that may explain how otherwise massless subatomic particles can acquire mass. Gathered here are images from the construction of the massive $4-billion-dollar machine that allowed us peer so closely into the subatomic world.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 5/16-5/22

    This week we have photos of an 80-foot-high tire in Michigan, dozens of Siberian students smashed into a car, two volcanic eruptions, yet another nail house in China, synchronized swimmers in a pond at the Chelsea Flower Show, a view from the top of the 104-story One World Trade Center, cows on the beach along the Mediterranean, a solar halo above Mexico, and much more.

  • Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

    The Spectacular Seda Monastery

    High in a treeless valley in China's remote Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture lies the largest Tibetan Buddhist school in the world.

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    An Oil Spill Fouls the California Coastline

    A pipeline burst yesterday, spilling an estimated 21,000 gallons (79,500 liters) of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara.

  • USGS / Robert Krimmel

    The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 35 Years Ago

    On May 18, 1980, 35 years ago today, an earthquake struck below the north face of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, triggering the largest landslide in recorded history, and a major volcanic eruption that scattered ash across a dozen states.

Join the Discussion