Building and installing the detector

The considerable bulk of the LHCb detector is situated more than one hundred metres beneath the French-Swiss border, housed within a cathedral-sized cavern. The site, known as ‘pit 8’, was built to host one of CERN’s previous experiments, DELPHI, meaning no excavation work was necessary before installation could begin in 2002.

Nevertheless, all components of the detector, many of which are extremely heavy or delicate, had to be lowered into the underground chamber through a narrow shaft connecting it to the surface. This posed considerable challenges for the team of scientists and engineers responsible.