So I am finishing up a little project for the ATLAS experiment at CERN. Part of what I’m doing involves making minor calculations of the detector geometry. I’m sitting here looking at the numbers for the size of this detector and I’m just a bit overwhelmed. The outermost edge of the outermost muon detector is 13 meters from the center. 13 meters is big. I am having trouble getting my mind around how big. Here are some things I looked up to help me get an idea of the size of 13 meters:
- For starters, anything that is 13 meters is 42 feet. (Can we just switch to the metric system already and join the rest of the civilized world?)
- 7 people over six feet tall, standing on each other’s heads, add up to 13 meters.
- The wingspan of a Cessna 172 is 11 meters.
- Four lanes of US highway add up to 14.5 meters.
- The tallest male giraffe ever recorded stood “only” 6 meters.
- The dinosaur Giraffatitan is believed to have been able to raise its head 13.5 meters in the air.
- Depending on the height of the rooms, a 4 or 5 story building is about 13 meters tall.
- The letters in the iconic Hollywood sign are each 14 meters tall.
Hmm. So that’s 13 meters. The radius of this muon detector. So, you know, double all that for the actual height from the ground. Sheesh.