The Large Hadron Collider

A Large Hadron Collider in the LEP Tunnel?

21 March 1984

CERN and the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) hold a workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland and at CERN from the 21-27 March 1984. The event, Large Hadron Collider in the LEP Tunnel, marks the first official recognition of the concept of the LHC. Attendees consider topics such as what types of particles to collide and the challenges inherent to high-energy collisions. The image above shows one proposal from the workshop – adding the LHC in with the existing LEP machine – that was later scrapped.  

Read the workshop proceedings

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LEP tunnel completed

8 February 1988

The excavation of the tunnel for the Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP) – Europe’s largest civil-engineering project prior to the Channel Tunnel – is completed. The two ends of the 27-kilometre ring come together with just one centimetre of error. The LEP tunnel, built while plans for the LHC is underway, will later house the LHC. The picture above shows a tunneling crew after completing a section of the tunnel between points 2 and 3 on the LEP ring. 

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The Large Electron-Positron Collider
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The history of CERN

ATLAS and CMS collaborations publish Letters of Intent

1 October 1992

The A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (ATLAS) collaboration propose to build a multipurpose detector at the LHC. The Letter of Intent they submit to the LHC Experiments Committee marks the first official use of the name ATLAS. Two collaborations called ASCOT and EAGLE combine to form ATLAS.

Read the ATLAS Letter of Intent

The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration proposes to build a multipurpose detector at the LHC. The Letter of Intent they submit to the LHC Experiments Committee marks the first official use of the name CMS.

Read the CMS Letter of Intent

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Superconducting Super Collider project cancelled

21 October 1993

Due to concerns linked to rising costs, the US government votes to cancel the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) project in Waxahachie, Texas. The SSC – a circular accelerator with an 87-kilometre circumference designed to smash particles at 40 TeV centre-of-mass energy – would have been far more powerful than CERN's LHC. The LHC is now the sole candidate for a new high energy hadron collider.

 

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10-metre magnet prototype achieves 8.73 Tesla

14 April 1994

The first prototype bending-magnet for the LHC reaches a field of 8.73 Tesla. The LHC will operate in 2012 with 8.4 Tesla field, which is 100,000 times more powerful than the earth's magnetic field.

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CMS and ATLAS experiments approved

31 January 1997

Four years after the first technical proposals, the experiments CMS and ATLAS are officially approved. Both are general-purpose experiments designed to explore the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe.

Timeline: 
The history of CERN
The Large Hadron Collider

ALICE experiment approved

14 February 1997

The CERN research board officially approves the ALICE experiment. Re-using the L3 magnet experiment from the LEP, ALICE is designed to study quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that would have existed in the first moments of the universe.

Timeline: 
The history of CERN
The Large Hadron Collider

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