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The Large Hadron Collider Has Been Recreated In Lego

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the lego-black-hole-soon-to-destroy-earth dept.

Toys 80

An anonymous reader writes "The Large Hadron Collider has many fans, and one of its biggest is Sasha Mehlhase, a physicist from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. Mehlhase has decided to help promote the LHC to students by taking the time to recreate a 1:50 scale model of it using Lego bricks. In total he spent 81 hours creating it, which was split between 48 hours of designing the model on his laptop, and a further 33 hours putting it together."

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80 comments

Don't tell me... (1, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476198)

and tomorrow he starts building his girlfriend.

Re:Don't tell me... (4, Informative)

yotto (590067) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476262)

I hope his wife doesn't get mad! /I know, shame on me for Ring TFA.

Re:Don't tell me... (4, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477400)

Nah, tomorrow starts the search for the so called god brick. The elusive brick thought to bind all other bricks together.

Re:Don't tell me... (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38478088)

Nah, tomorrow starts the search for the so called god brick. The elusive brick thought to bind all other bricks together.

Oh sure, it's all fun and games until he accidentally creates a tiny square black hole and then we are all screwed!

Re:Don't tell me... (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481912)

Nah, tomorrow starts the search for the so called god brick. The elusive brick thought to bind all other bricks together.

Oh sure, it's all fun and games until he accidentally creates a tiny square black hole and then we are all screwed!

They already occur naturally due to a quirk in quantum mechanics known as "Brickbuilder's Box". Whenever you search for a piece that you need in a bin full of bricks, it will always be where you cannot find it even though you swear you saw it just a second ago. That is because it is in square black hole. When you no longer need the brick, the black hole dissipates and the brick returns.

Re:Don't tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38478610)

Obviously he didn't read warnings on the Lego box. Ya know, don't allow kids to swallow pieces.. don't accelerate pieces to light speed... the usual.

Re:Don't tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38478220)

He built the full Hadron Collider in Lego Universe, however the black hole created has sucked all the users out of the game and that is why they are shutting down the game.

Not the whole LHC (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476226)

The ATLAS module is not the only module on the LHC but yes still impressive.

Not the LHC (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476532)

Actually it is the ATLAS Experiment (not module) which is an experiment on the LHC. The LHC actually passes through the middle of the detector.

Re:Not the whole LHC (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477176)

Thank you.

A 1:50 scale model of the LHC would involve a 172 m diameter circle of Legos, hardly something a single person could built in 81 hours.

Re:Not the whole LHC (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480810)

OK then build it in 82 hours. But seriously, it would be cool to have such a model in Legoland.

Re:Not the whole LHC (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483832)

Ya. I was severely disappointed to see only one detector when I clicked through.

I wanted the whole doughnut (in a Lego(TM) cave for bonus points!)

Re:Not the whole LHC (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38486898)

Don't worry, I'm sure at least 73 CMS, ALICE and LHCb grad students and postdocs are squirreled away right now making Lego models. But I bet they won't make Slashdot. Oh and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) is very dense, I think one would have to use metal Legos...while plastic probably approximates the density of ATLAS pretty well.

Only way to prove the existence.. (4, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476246)

.. of the predicted 1x1 block is to let lots of legos collide and look at the resulting blocks.

Re:Only way to prove the existence.. (3, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476438)

And research has finally proven that the binding forces from the natural four fields is, in fact, caused by pegs [now known to be bosons] binding to empty sockets [fermions].

This new finding nicely fits the currently held model that repulsive forces are caused by restraining orders and subatomic-particle on subatomic-particle homophobia. Yet another great day for Science!

Re:Only way to prove the existence.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38487550)

If memory serves correctly, the 1x1 block *does* exists, albeit only as a special block and not in the "standard" red. But your method sure sound like a brick-load of fun :-)

Correction (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476250)

It's not the whole LHC - it's the detector part.

Re:Correction (2)

Goaway (82658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476894)

One detector, out of many.

The original articles explain this, but apparently geek.com isn't quite bright enough to understand all those WORDS.

Re:Correction (4, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477280)

It's not the whole LHC - it's the detector part.

Was I the only person who read the summary and thought "even at 1:50 scale, that's going to be damn massive" (couldn't remember the exact size, but I knew it was big- having checked, the circumference of the whole thing is 27km, or around 16 miles)?

Then pretty quickly twigged that they probably hadn't built the whole thing, checked the article, and was right.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481314)

Are you a Vulcan? I think I'm in love with you.

Re:Correction (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480114)

It's not the whole LHC - it's the detector part.

It's not even the detector part(s) (there are seven such) - it's *a* detector.

Where's the rest of it? (2)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476260)

I see the ATLAS experiment but where's the room-sized Lego tunnel?

Re:Where's the rest of it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476676)

I love LEGOs but I don't get this one -- its much cooler to wonder through a virtual 3D model of the detectors -- that way you can tweak the effects of special relativity to see what a decay product sees at various beta's.

Oh well, end of the year time for LHC stories because the legal trolls and the courts the abuse are all closed 'til after the New Year.

Lego, please buy these plans from them... (2)

Zargg (1596625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476268)

so we can all buy this as a kit and have one for ourselves! Very nicely done!

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (3, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476884)

Considering the legos required to build this model cost $2,600, I doubt Lego would be selling too many of these sets. This also gives a good idea of just how overpriced these little chunks of plastic are.

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38478344)

Not sure where that number comes from, but I doubt it's that much. I saw a box of 1600 assorted bricks at Walmart for $40, and this model only hat 9500 bricks. That's only around $240 worth of bricks. Mind you, you might not have the exact bricks you want, but somehow I doubt you would have to spend 10x the amount, since from what I can see none of the bricks are anything special. I wonder if Lego accepts special orders for people taking on big projects. I be they would have sent him some bricks at a good price if he sent them a copy of his plans.

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479650)

Especially when you can just go to the Lego store and buy the bricks you want by the bag full.

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (3, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38478450)

If it genuinely cost that much it would be due to him buying more sets than he needed to get the appropriate pieces. If Lego made a set that wouldn't be required. They obviously have capability to create the bricks he used already. They'd just have to include the right blocks so I'd get it would be in the $100 to $200 range.

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573270)

It would make more sense for LEGO to bundle the plans with an "expansion pack" and "encourage" people to pay the extra -- less than he did, but more than they currently do.

Of course, I think LEGO should just go whole hog and recreate the entire collider. Bonus points for a new LEGO-boatswain block ;)

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479684)

Have you checked the prices on Legos lately? Damned expensive, even for kids' sets. Give it another generation and $2,600 will be in the ballpark.

Re:Lego, please buy these plans from them... (1)

Zargg (1596625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480066)

hehe yea true, I am astounded at the price of some kids toys these days, for how little they do. I guess I also follow the /. tradition even as a noob, I didn't read the price in the article! However thetoadwarrior is right, if Lego made the set, it wouldn't be that expensive. But still just plastic!

Damn, the lego atom smasher works too! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476270)

If it was that easy to build an atom smasher every kid would be doing it! Oh wait they are, every time they throw something!!! Must crush, mush destroy, must obliterate! Must!!! Muh ha ha!

What? Still no Higgs Boson in Box? (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476272)

What a jip....I can't see the small pieces...

Re:What? Still no Higgs Boson in Box? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479084)

Don't worry, it is designed to make small pieces out of the big pieces until he has some Higgs bricks.

Actually it isn't the WHOLE thing (3, Insightful)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476276)

The pictures in TFA show that he (and his friends and poor wife) show that he just built the detectors.

While very impressive, he (obviously) didn't build the complete ring. Even at 1:50 scale it would be a mile in circumference. Now that's a lot of LEGOs!

Re:Actually it isn't the WHOLE thing (3, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476600)

Even at 1:50 scale it would be a mile in circumference.

Actually the LHC has a 27km circumference which, at 1:50 scale, would become a 540m circumference which is only about a third of a mile.

Wrooooooong! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476284)

He recreated ATLAS, which is one of the detectors at the LHC, beside ALICE, CMS, LHCb and further smaller experiments.

It's ATLAS, a small part of LHC (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476308)

LHC is 8.6km in diameter. A 1:50 scale model would still be 172 meters in diameter.

This guy built a 1:50 scale model of the ATLAS detector [wikipedia.org]; the first picture even has the inscriptions "ATLAS" in lego letters.

Re:It's ATLAS, a small part of LHC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38477214)

WoW, one says 27km one says 8.6km, where are all the math majors?

Lego? Seriously? Show it to us in Minecraft! (0)

Kreylix (322480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476320)

Wired: Minecraft, Tired: Lego. Expired: Lincoln Logs

Re:Lego? Seriously? Show it to us in Minecraft! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476930)

Lego: genuine creativity inducer

Minecraft: autism simulator

I love it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476322)

I love it when large hadrons collide.

Excellent idea in the article (4, Interesting)

Announcer (816755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476350)

The author suggests that the Lego company should produce models of real-world scientific devices of all levels of complexity, from simple machines, to Tesla coils, etc, all the way up to this. (No, not WORKING Tesla coils!)

I think this is an idea that is well worth pursuing. Granted, it probably won't outsell "Star Wars" toys any time soon, but for one thing, the GEEK FACTOR is off the scale! I think there are plenty of kids (and parents too) who would definitely buy such Lego sets! I'd even be interested, myself... and I'm pushing 50!

Re:Excellent idea in the article (2)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476934)

Greek-appeal, certainly, but I suspect only geeky parents would buy it for their kids - try bringing your child to a Lego store (e.g. in Köln), and see what bits they head for first...

Re:Excellent idea in the article (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480596)

Who needs sets if you have Lego? I thought the whole point was to use your imagination and use the standard blocks.
Just like a stick is not a perfect sword, it makes for a great light saber. The same with Lego. Give a kid the standard blocks and it can build anything. Colors don't even matter.

The building (and destroying) is the fun part. I made people from Lego long before they came pre-build. ull block. On top of that a half block, full one and then a half one. Looked like an upside down F. Sure, it was not to scale with everything else, but I did not care. I had build an army that was destroyed about 3 minutes later and became a tank and then a boat and then ...

Sets? We don't need no freakin' sets. (Now get of m,y lawn)

Re:Excellent idea in the article (1)

Announcer (816755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488806)

I referred to "sets" simply because this is the way Lego has been selling for years, now.

When I was a kid, all we had were blocks. Even plain ol' wheels were RARE! We made everything from the basic bricks, building, smashing, rebuilding... exactly as you described.

Now, having helped my nephew build a few Lego "models" (a reasonable description, IMHO) over the years, I also understand the appeal of these custom sets. They have taken the place of the plastic models we had to glue together when we were kids. Now, they just snap... and if you have enough OTHER Lego sets, your imagination can still go wild! Take parts from each, and come up with something unique... as kids will do!

The idea is for the PARENTS to GET INVOLVED with their kids. I can't help but picture geeky parents having geeky kids... it would just kinda rub off, but also, the children would be NURTURED in their pursuits of all things "geeky"! How do non-geeky parents end up with geeky kids? I don't know, but they do! Yours Truly is a geek, born to non-geeky parents. :)

Re:Excellent idea in the article (1)

Roogna (9643) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484422)

It's not far out of whack for some of the sets Lego makes now either. While doing holiday shopping this year for our daughter I was highly impressed by the Architecture sets at the Lego store.

Inaccurate Title? (2)

Turnerj (2478588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476396)

The second link's title [universitypost.dk] more accurately describes what was built. I also expected to see a giant LEGO ring but I guess if 1:50 scale is still a little too big to build it out of LEGO, I might let it pass this time.

just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476452)

for the Higgs boson to travel back in time from the future and destroy it.

Time-consuming... (1)

Synchblade (2535934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38476836)

Wow, 81 hours? And more than half of it designing it? And it's not even the whole thing...
That said, he must have way too much time on his hands.

Re:Time-consuming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476914)

Not really time consuming -- time consuming was designing, simulating, prototyping, building and installing the real ATLAS. :) 81 hours for a 1/50th scale model pales in comparison to the 100+ person years for the real deal. (I don't know that it was 100+ person years, the folks I worked with had at least 20 person years in their small part of the ATLAS.)
   

Large Hadron Collider Has Been Recreated In Lego (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38476920)

I wish my Large Hardon Collider was recreated in Lego :(

Lego plural (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38477350)

The plural of Lego is Legos.

Re:Lego plural (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477360)

No. LEGO is the brand name. They are LEGO bricks. They are not Legos.

Re:Lego plural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38486596)

No.

The word lego has now been genericized. It means "small plastic toy brick".

It's plural is legos.

Re:Lego plural (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488434)

No. It has not. It does not. It is not.

http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4003:ok1hd4.2.4 [uspto.gov]

LEGO is a registered trademark. LEGO-brand bricks are not "legos", they are LEGO bricks. Non-LEGO-brand bricks are not "legos", they are small plastic non-LEGO toy bricks.

Using "legos" to refer to them just makes you sound like an uneducated fool. The fact that you've been told otherwise and will continue to do so makes you a stubborn fool. Go right ahead, I won't stop you - although if you have any money I'm sure LEGO would love to sue you into oblivion.

Re:Lego plural (2)

vk2sky (1463797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477388)

The plural of Lego is Legos.

Well, if you're going to be picky, the singular of "Lego" is "LEGO" :-)

This is valuable research (5, Funny)

vk2sky (1463797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477370)

The Higgs Boson is like that oddball tiny LEGO piece that always finds its way down to the bottom of the tub and wedges itself inside another piece.

ironic ad (1)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38477378)

I chuckled a bit to myself when this posting came up in the Yahoo blog reader with a Google ad for steel and aluminium trench-shoring solutions.

Pbbt. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38478142)

81 hours for a scale model? Tony Stark built a working particle accelerator in a weekend.

Am I the only one (1)

steelframe (590694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38478796)

who can't get the words Large Hardon Collider out of my mind. Once I thought it I see it every time.

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38479856)

No you're not. There is a lot of people whom are still in the closet.

// WAKE UP and smell the minimalism people // (0)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482422)

What's with this scourge of Digital Minimalism?

Are our neurons so heavily jaded or taxed by lush vibrant reality which surrounds us, that we achieve some mental orgasma at the sight of some crappy pixelated model of real-life process...? Building with Lego is like, well, uninventing the wheel. Seeing the world through Nintendo glasses.

Or its evil cousin Digital All-or-Nothingism promoted by kindergarten FAIL engineers which has killed broadcast television. DIGITAL TV IS LEGO TV. Where you once had a graceful degradation curve in fringe areas in which an analog television broadcast would go progressively snowy but still viewable (audio still perfect!) over a large area... now you have a useless and terrifying eruption of multicolored boxes accompanied by spurts of silence and blackscreen. If this is progress I'm a blockhead. Just hope them bastards keep their LEGO mitts off of analog FM.

Remember Bell Standard Practices, the smooth audio response curve of analog telephone equipment... balanced pairs, the digital fixed rate ~56k as the rule. The days of long distance dialup BBS where even complex tone protocols could be reliable. Now we have turkey garble bizzlefart cell phones and even long distance circuits for wire telephone providers use gibbering poop compression. Voices sploitch and gurgle like a death rattle. Music on hold sounds like continuous projectile vomit. "MODERN" DIGITAL TELEPHONY IS LEGO TELEPHONY.

And don't get me started about digital "cameras" as opposed to film. The great great grandchildren will think granny was made out of LEGO blocks, the way she looks when they zoom in close. When you zoom in with film people become grainy but they're still, well, people, not nightmarish pixelcritters with beady eyes. Matthew Brady is sobbing in his grave.

Where is it all going? Eventually the whole world will dissolve into a simple square wave like the red pill scene in Matrix and finally the whole universe will go DC. All of existence compressed into one bit.

We are the hollow men
We are the LEGO men
Stuck together
Edges sharp and painful underfoot. Alas!
Our crappy digital voices, when
We whisper together
are rendered as unintelligible by codec errors
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellular

This is the way the conversation ends
This is the way the conversation ends
This is the way the conversation ends
Not by bang or whimper: with a turkey fart.

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