As scientists at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland continue their search for the elusive Higgs boson "God particle," one physicist has built a tribute to their work entirely out of Lego bricks. Sascha Mehlhase, a researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, spent more than 80 hours designing and constructing a model of the supercollider's intricate ATLAS detector.
Mehlhase, who is part of the institute's high energy physics group, spent about 48 hours modeling the ATLAS on his laptop in Lego's Digital Designer software. He used the application's ability to generate a custom construction manual, but decided to simply eyeball most of the work after seeing the 4,500-page tome it spit out. With some help from his wife, Mehlhase spent 33 hours over the course of several weeks assembling 9,500 bricks to reproduce even the smallest details.
The final model stands nearly two feet tall and is 1:50 scale — or actual size, if you're a little Lego person. In fact, Mehlhase even chose jumpsuit-wearing Lego minifigs to represent the CERN scientists and recreated the passageways they use to access the inner areas of the ATLAS experiment. The total cost for the project was almost $2,600 in Lego bricks, which had to be custom ordered from the Danish toymaker.
Mehlhase hopes to eventually publish a construction manual online and intends to showcase the finished model at the Niels Bohr Institute for visitors and students to marvel at. You can see more images of it at the University of Copenhagen's site.
[Image credit: Sascha Mehlhase]
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