The LHC is the world’s largest particle accelerator. Its primary structure consists of a 27 kilometer ring of supercold magnets that speed particles through its circuit. Two beams travel at nearly the speed of light in opposite directions through the ring until they collide at one of four set locations corresponding to various particle detectors within LHC.
The LHC is home to six major particle physics experiments. ATLAS and CMS are general purpose detectors designed to investigate a large range of particles including the Higgs boson and dark matter. ALICE is an ion detector designed to recreate conditions presents in the universe shortly after the Big Bang. The LHCb examines the differences between matter and antimatter. TOTEM is designed to measure the size of the proton and to monitor the luminosity of the LHC itself. Finally, the LHCf simulates cosmic rays in laboratory conditions.