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ATLAS Collaboration at CERN Unveils Giant Mural

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GENEVA, Oct. 20, 2010 — The ATLAS collaboration at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s laboratory for particle physics, unveiled a giant mural recently depicting the ATLAS particle detector, which is currently collecting data at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Painted by American artist Josef Kristofoletti, the mural is three stories tall, yet still one-third the size of the actual detector. It is designed to be the next best thing to seeing the detector itself. Installed in a cavern 100 m underground, the detector is no longer open for visits.

Painted on the wall of an ATLAS surface building by American artist Josef Kristofoletti, the mural stands three stories tall, yet is only one-third the size of the actual ATLAS particle detector. (Photo: CERN)

The mural is not the first depiction made of the ATLAS detector. Kristofoletti created a smaller version that he painted for the Redux Contemporary Art festival in South Carolina. The smaller painting was spotted by members of the collaboration, and resulted in the artist being invited to visit the real thing.

“We were thrilled to learn that ATLAS and particle physics had found their way into popular art,” said Michael Barnett of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ATLAS physicist and outreach coordinator.

Kristofoletti took the inspiration by the human creativity that goes into research at the frontier of knowledge to create the large mural.

“You just look at certain things and think, ‘wow, how are human beings able to do something so huge?’” he explained. “And that’s certainly the feeling I got from ATLAS. How is it really possible? It’s like a miracle that people are able to assemble something so complex.”

Because CERN and the LHC have attracted considerable interest from the artistic community over the years, the laboratory has responded by starting to develop an artist in residence program.

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Oct 2010
artistic in residence programATLASBusinessCERNEuropeGenevaJosef KristofolettiLarge Hadron ColliderLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryLHCMichael Barnettmuralparticle colliderparticle detectorparticle physicsRedux Contemporary Art festivalSensors & Detectors

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