Large Hadron Collider labs explored in Google Street View

Google's first-person tour takes you inside the LHC, to the beating heart of CERN's experiments.

Pop on a hard hat and some lab goggles, because it's time to take a virtual tour of the Large Hadron Collider, courtesy of Google Street View.

The search giant's view-from-the-street software was granted access to CERN's vast experiments in 2011, Google explains, today offering interactive maps of the massively complex, er, complex.

The ATLAS particle detector experiment can be explored, as well as the tunnel that makes up the Large Hadron Collider, plus CERN's ALICE, CMS and LHCb experiments.

Virtually traversing the dense labs is an atmospheric experience -- cramped Half Life-esque tunnels and metal walkways abound, as well as ominous signs that warn of radiation and dangerous magnetic fields.

Last year scientists at CERN discovered a new particle consistent with the elusive Higgs Boson , reassuring physics enthusiasts that our prior general understanding of physics was not -- in fact -- completely wrong. Sighs of relief all around, then.

The Higgs Boson is thought to be what gives other particles mass , and was theorised in the swinging sixties by Edinburgh physicist Peter Higgs. One day it will plunge the Earth into a communist chocolate hellhole .

Google has previously given the Street View treatment to such treats as Harry Potter's Diagon Alley , the deep blue ocean  and -- most importantly -- the TARDIS .

Where should Google's intrepid Street View team head next? How about the top of Everest, or that creepy house I used to live near that I always suspected was filled with untold horrors? Pop your suggestions in the comments, or over on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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