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Where Legos and Particles Collide

Weighing over 7,000 tons, the ATLAS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider measures collisions between protons traveling near the speed of light. And now it has its own place in the world of large Lego models. One dedicated researcher has built an intricate replica of the ATLAS experiment out of 9,500 Lego pieces.


The Lego replica is 50 times smaller than the actual 7,000 ton detector. Image Courtesy Sascha Mehlhase.


Sascha Mehlhase, a postdoctoral researcher working on the ATLAS experiment, designed the model as part of an outreach project. Impressively, Mehlhase's replica captures all of ATLAS' intricate parts. Just building the initial 3D model took 48 hours, and then Mehlhase assembled all of the pieces in 33 hours.


A Lego worker checks the experiment. Image Courtesy Sascha Mehlhase.


Mehlhase hopes that his eye-catching model will inspire people of all ages. He says that he's also working on instruction manuals for those who are willing to spend $2,700 on Lego pieces for their own model.

For more information on the project, check out Mehlhase's website.

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