University of California, Irvine
Large Hadron Collider
The ATLAS portion of the Large Hadron Collider is seen during construction in the underground cavern on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is the largest (17-mile-long tunnel), most powerful particle accelerator ever built. Photo: EIROforum / CERN

A New Physics Frontier

UC Irvine scientists are playing a key role in the Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator. Built in Switzerland, it seeks to recreate conditions just a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. It will do this by smashing subatomic particles together at very high speeds around a 17-mile underground ring. Scientists hope the LHC will explain basic forces that have shaped our universe.

Eight UCI faculty members and many postdoctoral researchers and staff members are involved with the LHC. Developing electronics, computer systems and software integral to collecting and recording data, they join about 10,000 people from 60 countries working on the project. After more than a year of repairs, the LHC is back on track to create high-energy particle collisions that may yield extraordinary insights into the nature of the universe.