LHC ATLAS experiment recreated in LEGO

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Irritated, perhaps, by CERN's tardiness in producing a Higgs boson for our delectation, a Danish scientist has produced a detailed model of the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS experiment - made from LEGO.

Physicist Sascha Mehlhase of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen says it took him about 48 hours to build a 3D model of ATLAS on his laptop using Lego's Digital Designer software - which he then scrapped after realising the blueprint ran to 4,500 pages.

Instead, he says, he then spent another 33 hours constructing it by eye. He had help, he says, from students and his long-suffering wife.

"It illustrates all details, from the muon and magnet system to the innermost pixel detector, and will hopefully be a great eye-catcher for all generations," he says.

The end result uses about 9,500 LEGO pieces and measures about a meter long, making it roughly 1:50 in scale. It includes several tiny physicists.

"There were moments during the entire process which were not fun, but the overall process was enjoyable and informative," he says.

The model cost about 2,000 Euros, stumped up by the Institute's high energy physics group, although Mehlhase says he hopes to get funding from LEGO itself for future models which could go on display at other universities.

Mehlhase says he's creating a manual so that anyone with the patience - and the bricks - can create their own version at home.


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