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The big bang under the earth

DEKRA Industrial on site

As early as the 1950s scientists at CERN (Centre Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) in Geneva were already trying to simulate the big bang. To aid them in their decades of research they designed and built the world‘s largest particle accelerator. The heart of the highly complex test apparatus are two subterranean circuits – some 100 metres beneath the earth – with a circumference of approximately 27 kilometres. In the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particles are first accelerated up to almost the speed of light and then made to collide at four points, the resulting explosions are closely examined by means of detectors.

One of these detectors is called the Compact Muon Spectrometer CMS. The individual layers of this spectrometer resemble a giant wheel – the largest has a diameter of over 15 metres and weighs roughly 2,000 tonnes. Specialists at DEKRA Industrial have taken on an important function in this multi-national project: They examine every single component and make sure that all the specifications and standards have been perfectly satisfied after installation.

Following extensive preparations and a construction period of more than ten years the hadron collider is due to enter service in June 2008 and high-ranking representatives from all the participating states are expected to be in attendance. “We trust NORISKO know-how”, says Isabel Béjar DEKRA INDUSTRIAL ON SITE Alonso, responsible for the technical safety at CERN. The engineers from DEKRA NORISKO Industrial have already invested around 15,000 work hours in the project. “There’s no question about it”, comments Jean-Lou Ravinel, “CERN is for DEKRA engineers probably one of the most fascinating workplaces in this world.”