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, including the Higgs boson.
The Large Hadron Collider
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.
The Total Cross Section, Elastic Scattering Diffraction Dissociation collaboration proposes to build a detector to measure the basic properties of proton-proton collisions at high energy. The letter of intent marks the first official use of the name TOTEM.
At the December session of the CERN council, representatives of the United States sign an agreement to contribute $531 million to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project. Martha Krebs, Director of the Office of Energy Research (DOE) and Bob Eisenstein, Assistant Director of Physical and Mathematical Science at the National Science Foundation sign on behalf of the US, and CERN Director-General Christopher Llewellyn Smith signs on behalf of the laboratory.
At the same meeting, the US is granted observer status at CERN.
The Monopole and Exotics Detector at the LHC proposes to build a detector to search for highly ionizing particles and slow exotic decays at the LHC. The letter of intent marks the first official use of the name MoEDAL. It will be the LHC’s seventh detector.
As construction workers are preparing the work site for the CMS-detector cavern, they unearth 4th century Gallo-Roman ruins. The find delays work for 6 months while archaeologists excavate the site.
The archaeologists find a Gallo-Roman villa with surrounding fields, as well as coins from Ostia (a seaport of Rome), Lyons in France (then Gaul) and London.
LHCb is the fourth experiment approved for the LHC. The experiment will study the phenomenon known as CP violation, which would help to explain why matter dominates antimatter in the universe.
A digger removes the final sods of earth from the sides of the cavern that will house the ATLAS detector.
Construction workers use a modified cement truck on stilts to reinforce the floor of the ATLAS cavern.
After three years of work, the ATLAS detector cavern (35 x 55 x 40 metres) is fully excavated and completed. CERN officials and dignitaries celebrate the first new LHC cavern on 4 June 2003, complete with an alpinhorn player.