Mark Henderson, Science Editor
“My prejudice would certainly be, on the basis of the evidence we already have, that it’s not far off,” said the professor. “But there’s a lot of analysis of the data to be done before you make the announcement that you have found it. That’s what will take the time.”
The winning analogy was of Margaret Thatcher – a massive particle – wandering through a Conservative cocktail party and gathering hangers-on as she moved about.
— The European particle physics laboratory’s accelerator will smash beams of protons against one another at 0.999997828 times the speed of light. It is housed in a tunnel 17 miles long, about the same length as the London Underground’s Circle Line
— When the tunnel was cut, the ends met with only 1cm of error
— Each proton will go around the tunnel 11,245 times a second
— The proton beam will carry the equivalent energy of an aircraft carrier sailing at 11 knots
— The superconducting cables used to power the LHC would stretch around the Equator 6.8 times. All the filaments would stretch to the Sun and back five times, plus a few trips to the Moon
— The cooling apparatus could keep 140,000 fridges full of sausages at a temperature a little above absolute zero
— The beam pipes contain a vacuum similar to that found in space.
— Engineers look for leaks so small that they would cause a car tyre to go flat in 10,000 years