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World’s Most Powerful Microscope, the Large Hadron Collider

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 7 pm
Waterloo Collegiate Institute, 300 Hazel Street, Waterloo

International researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in Geneva, Switzerland, will soon embark on one of science’s greatest adventures. With its very high energy, previously seen only in cosmic rays, the particle collider will probe the inner structure of matter at distances ten times smaller than any previous experiments.

The LHC will address many of the mysteries surrounding the smallest particles of matter. It may also pierce secrets that the Universe has hidden since the early stages of the Big Bang, such as the nature of dark matter and the origin of matter itself. This will be the largest scientific experiment ever attempted and the complex international efforts to bring the 27 km-long machine to life, including Canada’s involvement, will also be explained.


About John Ellis:

Born in London on July 1st, 1946, Ellis grew up in Otters Bar, a suburb that some Londoners used to regard as the northern boundary of civilization. Following a year at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and an additional year at the California Institute of Technology as a research associate, Ellis joined CERN in 1973 and became leader of the Theory Division for six years. Currently, he is a senior staff member. Ellis is also an advisor on CERN’s relations with non-Member States.

Commenting on his efforts, Ellis feels fortunate to work on issues involving cosmology and particle physics. He says – “Nowadays, I am lucky to work on both subjects, often in the same research paper, as the two subjects have really grown together. One of the most exciting aspects of our subject is how the physics of the very small can be used to describe the Universe on the largest possible scales.”

About Robert S. Orr:

Professor Orr was born in Iran, and grew up in Scotland and South Wales. At present he is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto. He was NSERC Principal Investigator for ATLAS Canada from 1994 to 2007. ATLAS is a detector within the LHC at CERN.

An accomplished researcher, Professor Orr is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the winner of a 2006 ORION (Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network) Discovery Award of Merit for his work with the ATLAS Canada group.


Perimeter Institute is an independent, non-profit research centre where international scientists are clustering to push the limits of our understanding of physical laws by contemplating and calculating new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter and information. The Institute, located in Waterloo, also provides a wide array of educational outreach activities for students, teachers and the general public across Canada and beyond in order to share the joys of creative inquiry, research, discovery and innovation.

Julie Taylor | alfa
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