Grav­ity causes the 27km ring of the Large Hadron Col­lider near Geneva to shrink and ex­pand by 1mm twice a day

Sky at Night Magazine - - MYSTERIOUS GRAVITY -

In 1992, physi­cists work­ing on the Large Elec­tron-Positron (LEP) Col­lider near Geneva, whose sub­ter­ranean tun­nel loop now con­tains the Large Hadron Col­lider, no­ticed some­thing odd. Twice a day they had to boost the en­ergy of their cir­cu­lat­ing elec­trons and positrons (‘an­ti­mat­ter’ part­ners of elec­trons) to keep them in the ring. Af­ter scratch­ing their heads, they re­alised that tides hap­pen twice a day. What was hap­pen­ing was that the grav­ity of the Moon was caus­ing the rock of the Jura Moun­tains, into which LEP was bored, to bulge up­wards. This in­creased its length so that the mag­nets were no longer the right strength to trap the beam within the tun­nel. Surely one of the most es­o­teric ef­fect of the tides there is!

The LEP Col­lider, as seen from the air in the late 1980s. It’s since been dis­man­tled but the cir­cu­lar tun­nel re­mains; it now houses the Large Hadron Col­lider

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