JEAN COLLOMBET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN COLLOMBET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Technicians work on the RF (radio-frequency) cavities during construction of the Super-Proton- Synchrotron (SPS) accelerator at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory outside Geneva, in 1976. The photo shows the underground tunnel containing the beam pipe through which protons & antiprotons travel in opposite direct- ions around the SPS ring. The pipe itself (far left) passes through the orange RF cavities where the particles are accelerated by electric fields generated by radio waves. The protons & antiprot- ons are accelerated to almost the speed of light as they circle the ring millions of times, before being smashed into each other inside detectors.
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