AFTER A DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PERIOD OF ABOUT TWO DECADES, the ATLAS experiment is almost ready now that the final pieces—9.3-m, 100-tonne “wheels” (one of which is being lowered in the photo)—are in place. The high-energy proton collisions that ATLAS will produce beneath the French-Swiss border, have the potential to reveal “breakthroughs in our understanding of matter and the universe,” says Prof. Rob McPherson, UVic physicist and official spokesman for Canada’s role in the project.
“UVic was a founder of the ATLAS collaboration, and our faculty and students are readying for the analysis of the data,” says McPherson. “We’re all a bit nervous, but at the same time we’re confident. We're entering the most exciting era in particle physics in decades.”
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