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European Spallation Source Particle Accelerator Smaller and Greener Than LHC (but more powerful)



The European Spallation Source (ESS), as the structure will be called, has been designed with gardens, outdoor spaces to collect and soak up rainwater, and green roofs.

The world’s largest and most advanced neutron-based Higgs boson, DNA, and molecular proteins research center, to be located in Lund, Sweden, will be designed by Henning Larsen Architects, COBE, and SLA. These architects won the award through an international competition.

Not only are the events occurring inside the ESS innovative, but so, too, is the design of the building.

Far more energy efficient than other particle accelerators, the imaginative design allows scientists to do more with less energy.

100,000 square meters of labs, offices, conference rooms and a 600 meter-long proton accelerator, and a hall 180 meters long comprise the structure. For comparison’s sake, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is 27 km in circumference, so the ESS is much smaller. However, the ESS will be much more powerful by employing new technology like spallation technology – meaning it can create brighter neutron beams.

Project team members include Henning Larsen Architects, COBE, SLA, Buro Happold, NNE Pharmaplan, and Transsolar.

The design integrates science and technology with nature, and the structure is surrounded by fields and meadows, wild-growing vegetation, and fences. These are designed as a safety barrier and provide spatial distinction. Rainwater management has even been considered and will create a spatial connection between ESS, Max IV, and Lund Science Village.

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