Our steel makes a Big Bang

Posted on 30.03.10 by

Mary Carey



When the scientists at CERN announced recently that they had successfully implemented the first collision in the Large Hadron Collider, it was big news for CERN, Europe and also for science. But it was also big news for us. Why? Because ArcelorMittal steel was used to build the accelerator.

The particle accelerator was installed in a 27km long circular tunnel, 100m underground. When fully operational, trillions of protons, accelerated to 99.99% of the speed of light, make 11,245 laps of the accelerator per second and allow physicists to study the elementary building blocks of matter.

Thanks to close collaboration between ArcelorMittal’s R&D and techno-commercial teams, our group won the contract to supply steel for the accelerator by proposing a new high-thickness steel, which met CERN’s requirements.

Our understanding of the universe may be about to change with the aid of the Large Hadron Collider. This US$10bn project has been described as the world’s largest scientific experiment.

Two beams of protons are sent, at close to light speed and at ultra-high energy, in opposite directions in the tunnel under the Swiss-French border at Geneva. The beams are pushed to 3.5 trillion electron volts, the highest energy achieved by any physics accelerator. The scientists then force the two beams to cross, creating collisions and showers of particles. This is the first step towards understanding the Big Bang – using ArcelorMittal steel.


  • ArcelorMittal

  • CERN

  • Geneva

  • large hadron collider

  • LHC

  • particle accelerator

  • physics

  • science

  • steel