Calling all LEGO lovers! Add a mini control room to your collection

The mini LHC Lego project launched in March (see here) now has almost 6,000 supporters - well on its way to the 10,000 votes needed for it to (hopefully!) hit store shelves. This week, the project added a new feature to its line: a mini control centre!

The new LEGO Control centre, featuring operators "Kerstin" and "Marco".


The mini LHC project is the brainchild of ATLAS PhD student Nathan Readioff, who designed Lego replicas of the LHC and the ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb experiments on a micro scale. Each detector model is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand but crammed with detailed internal systems revealed by cutaway walls. Every major detector component is represented by a Lego piece.

Now, Nathan has created a control centre to complement the mini LHC project. This would be an add-on feature for Lego’s consideration, should they decide to develop the accelerator into a box set. “The control centre is a simple, scaled-down representation of the real-life detector and LHC control rooms,” says Nathan. “It features desks and displays in the semi-circle layout popular in control centres across CERN.”

The Lego control centre even features two physicist minifigures! “Marco” comes with a mug of coffee - an essential accessory for any physicist but especially important when working long night shifts. Meanwhile, “Kerstin” comes with a hard hat and spanner for whenever a problem requires a descent into the underground caverns. When not in use, the hard hat can be hung on the grey peg on the back wall.

The large displays at the back of the control centre - where the minifigs monitor the accelerator configuration and the results of recent collisions - can be customised to represent any of the experiments or the LHC. “While the picture shows sample displays for the ATLAS detector and a typical event containing a Higgs boson, additional stickers would be included allowing the control room to be customised for other detectors and the accelerator,” adds Nathan.

The mini LHC project has garnered over 6,000 votes - but it still needs 4,000 more for it to qualify for the Lego Review, which decides if projects become new Lego products. Cast your vote now by visiting the Lego Ideas website!

by Katarina Anthony