Inside the world's largest particle accelerator

Large Hadron Collider

Source: Phys.org


80% of the mark
(January 2022)
  •   Reading comprehension
    • - Vocabulary
    • - True/False
  •   Culture landmarks 1-6
  •   Grammar
  •   Writing
Particle accelerators play an important role in national security, including cargo inspection, stockpile stewardship and materials characterization. Early applications of accelerators to inspect nuclear fuels used commercial low-energy electron linear accelerators to induce photo-fission reactions.
PART 1 of this session will take you on a tour inside the world's largest particle accelerator.
In PART 2, you will learn about how to add qualities to your sentences using various types of adjectives.
In PART 3, PART 4 and PART 5 you will practise oral work, language tools (adjectives) and the cultural landmark on Marie Curie, respectively.

Do you know how a particle accelerator works? If you're interested take a look at this explanation from Energy.gov


Improve your English speaking, listening and writing skills with Duolingo, a free, fun-to-use app.


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. It first started up on 10 September 2008, and remains the latest addition to CERN's accelerator complex. The LHC consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way... Continue reading at CERN.



How much do you know about particle physics? Test yourself before you become an expert by the end of this session.


A. In the following challenge, you will be asked 10 questions on particle physics. Choose the correct answers and beat your colleagues in accuracy and speed!

Source: abc.net.au


  1. Challenge #1: Particle physics
  • Inside the world's largest particle accelerator
  1. True/False
  2. Open questions
  Oral practice
  • Present your discoveries
  Language tools
  1. Adjectives
  2. Challenge #2: adjective order
  Culture landmarks
  1. Challenge #3: Marie Curie


Watch the first part of the video and answer the questions below.

Inside the world's largest particle accelerator

CERN logo

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 23 member states.
Source: Wikipedia.org

Now answer the following questions.

B. Say whether the following statements are true or false by clicking on the correct button first. Then, write your corrections to the false ones in the box.

1. Hundreds of engineers, scientists and mathematicians have designed and built the LHC.

Check answer

2. The purpose of the LHC is to study matter.

Check answer

3. The beams circulated in the LHC are roughly the shape of spaghetti.

Check answer

4. The beams move at a speed greater than the speed of light.

Check answer

5. Protons will not collide most of the time because of all the empty space matter is made of.

Check answer

6. 800 million collisions a day are generated by the LHC.

Check answer

7. Magnets are used to turn hair into spaghetti.

Check answer

8. Particles are so elusive, observation is extremely time sensitive.

Check answer

9. Atlas, Alice, LHC-B and CMS are experiments at collision points.

Check answer

10. The famous Higgs Boson was spotted in Atlas and CMS in 2015.

Check answer

Now watch the second part of the video and answer the questions below.

C. THE CMS EXPERIMENT: Dr Tulika Bose. Answer the following questions with your own words.

1. What will the collision pattern reveal?

Check answer

2. Which two aspects of the pattern does Dr Bose explain are significant?

Check answer

3. What are hadrons?

Check answer

4. What is the conclusion of the program?

Check answer


Mike Lamont

Mike Lamont, head researcher at CERN
Source: cds.cern.ch

Tulika Bose

Mike Lamont, researcher at CERN
Source: bu.edu



In groups of 3 or 4, imagine you have created a device which helps you control a special feature of physics in a new way (light, space, gravity, time, temperature, sound etc.). Each member of the group must individually come up with their own innovation.

Examples: a device to nullify sound, clothes that help regulate temperature, a mini-black hole to remove radioactive waste etc.

a. Describe your discovery to the Science Committee (played by the 2 or 3 other students in the group) and be enthusiastic about all its positive aspects.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce...
  • [Device] works with/through/thanks to...
  • It relies on [power source / process] to...
  • [Device] uses a revolutionary... in order to...
  • It allows users to...
  • It generates... thanks to...
  • What’s amazing about it is that...

b. The Science Committee will then have to find some potential negative aspects, dangers or misuses of your discovery.

  • Apparently, you did not consider...
  • Are you aware that your device could be used to...
  • Have you tested it for...
  • Did you take into account potential...
  • [...] would run a high risk of...
  • It would be completely irresponsible to...
  • I am afraid using [device] would entail (impliquerait / aurait pour consequence)

c. Together, decide if you should make the discovery public and what you could do to limit the risks.

  • If we decide to make [device] public, then we will have to...
  • If [device] was to be produced on a mass scale, we would have to...
  • We would have to curtail/restrain...
  • Only [group of people] should be allowed to...
  • We would design [it] so that no one could...

If you are at home, use this opportunity to record yourself using your phone/tablet/computer. If you feel confident about your performance, you can send it to your teacher for assessment.

Record yourself

Source: dreamstime.com

Record yourself

Source: easycast.tv



Adjectives are words that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence, i.e. they refer to qualities.

Basic characteristics of adjectives in English
  1. They generally precede the noun
    • Example:
    • We have visited the largest hadron collider in the world
  2. They have no masculine or feminine forms
    • Example:
    • Highly intelligent men and women research at CERN
  3. They have no singular or plural forms
    • Example:
    • This experienced physicist started working here five years ago
    • These experienced physicists started working here five years ago

Adjectives derived from verbs are very common in English. They can derive from the present participle (-ing) or from the past participle (-ed).

-ing adjectives are "active", which means they cause the actions. Conversely, -ed adjectives are "passive", so they rather show the effect of the action.

Look at the diagram for some examples of -ing and -ed adjectives.

D. Read the following sentences and click on the correct -ing/-ed adjectives.

-ing vs -ed adjectives

1. The film was quite exciting / excited. I enjoyed it.

2. Are you interesting / interested in football?

3. I had never expected to get the job. I was really amazing / amazed when I was offered it.

4. I didn't think it was funny. I wasn't amusing / amused.

5. He's one of the most boring / bored people I've ever met... he keeps talking and never says anything interesting / interested.

Adjective order

We may think that adjective order is free in English, but that's far from the truth. In fact, adjectives follow a relatively fixed organisation in the sentence.

The following diagram shows how to organise adjectives in a sentence:

Determiner Adjectives Noun
Opinion Size, height Shape, weight, length Condition, state Age Colour Pattern, design Origin, nationality Material Purpose
An, one/two/three, the, my, your, his, her, this, those, some... lovely, delicious, cool, nice, shitty big, huge, small, tine, tall, short round, square, long, fat, thin clean, dirty, wet, dry, rich, hungry young, old, new, antique blue, green, reddish, purply spotted, checked, flowery, zigzag American, British, Asian, Oriental gold, woollen, paper, synthetic riding, gardening, shopping house, person, idea
An ugly small thin dirty odd red striped Italian cotton sleeping bag
Determiner Adjectives Noun

Note: Don't worry, you will not come across sequences of adjectives this long.

It may seem confusing at first, but this structure is already present in your brain. You will be able to put adjectives into the right order more or less naturally. Just follow your intuition!

And REMEMBER! Your opinion always goes first.


E. In the following challenge, you will find ten jumbled (= disorganised) sentences. You have 3 minutes to unjumble them and place the adjectives in the right order. [Level: EASY]


Source: designerblogs.com

Polka dot Chevron Stripes Floral Herringbone Damask Plaid Harlequin Gingham


Marie Curie
To successfully take part in the following challenge, you will need to review the cultural landmark on Marie Curie first.


F. Now you are an expert in the life and work of Marie Curie, decide whether the following statements are true or false.


2 Rue de la Houssinière
Building 2 - Office 109
Nantes 44322 cedex 3