Fond memories

22 September 2008

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CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), the world's largest particle physics centre, has been making global headlines recently, following the switch-on of the LHC particle accelerator, an experiment which aims to recreate the conditions that existed billionths of a second after the big bang.


Ever since my article entitled 'Lifting the lid on the secrets of the universe,' was published in August 2006 following my visit to CERN earlier that summer, it has almost constantly been among the most popular stories viewed on this website.

I remember the article (it was also the cover story on the September 2006 issue) generated a lot of interest at the time. After all, CERN used around 1,000 hoists to assist scientists in one of the most fascinating experiments ever known. A total of 43 manufacturers from Europe alone supplied lifting gear, nearly all of which remains on site.

I'll certainly never forget my trip deep underground the Swiss and French borders, where hoists of every shape, size and capacity were operated in such a surreal environment.

Thanks again to CERN materials handling boss Ingo Ruehl, who took two days out of his schedule to show me around the labyrinth.

CERN_pic
Overall view of the LHC experiments

The results from the LHC may verify the existence of the Higgs boson particle, thus, could explain the origins of everything as we know it. Its discovery would fill a huge gap in the so-called standard model of particle physics.

If you missed the article following my trip to CERN just over two years ago, there's a link below.

Meanwhile, happy birthday to the Hoist blog, which was launched one year ago yesterday on 21st September 2007. This is the 83rd entry since then.

Richard Howes, Editor

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