Cruise through a collider

VIRTUAL VISIT  New 360-degree photo panoramas make it possible to explore, online, the brightly painted particle detectors such as the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment (shown) and other instruments at the world's largest particle accelerator.

Google Street View

The doors to CERN, the particle physics lab near Geneva where the Higgs boson was discovered last year, are closed to most folks. But the researchers there let in a team from Google Maps Street View, and now anyone can tour the Large Hadron Collider and other CERN experiments in 360-degree photo panoramas online.

Virtual visitors can “walk” through a tunnel housing part of the collider’s 27-kilometer-long particle accelerator. Or you can explore brightly painted particle detectors such as the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, which scientists used to find many of the ephemeral particles created in the LHC’s high-energy collisions.

Sarah Zielinski is the Editor, Print at Science News Explores. She has a B.A. in biology from Cornell University and an M.A. in journalism from New York University. She writes about ecology, plants and animals.

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