Hydrogen bottle

 
Despite the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC) is the largest machine ever built, the amount of protons it accelerates is extremely small.
 
Protons accelerated in the LHC are nuclei of hydrogen atoms taken from a bottle of hydrogen gas.
Electrons are stripped off the atoms, leaving only protons that are accelerated through an accelerators complex, reaching the LHC at the end.
 
The two beams of the LHC contain about 6·1014 protons. That seems to be a lot of protons, but in total, they weight about 5 nanograms (5 billionth of a gram) !
In fact, a hydrogen bottle of this size contains enough protons to feed the LHC for 200,000 year of continuous operation!
 

 

You are here