Part 5: Subatomic: The European Organization for Nuclear Research
Photographing the Invisible at CERN
Picture this: you’re standing 100 meters underground. You’ve just taken a one-minute-long elevator ride down the equivalent of 30 stories and gone through a series of locked doors that slam resoundingly behind you. The final set of doors opens and you’re confronted with a dazzling array of colors and shapes that confounds the senses, at a monumental scale that takes your breath away. Suddenly the picture resolves into an enormous machine and you’re dumbfounded. You realize you’re only glimpsing a minute portion of the whole, standing where only a select few have been granted access, and seeing where world history was made. Oh, and by the way, you’re buried underground. In Switzerland. What rises first to your mind? Thank goodness I’m not claustrophobic.
This is—give or take—the sequence of emotions I experienced when first confronted with the ATLAS detector at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN)…