Name that Particle Accelerator! Nicknames for the Large Hadron Collider

By | Posted September 12, 2008
Posted in: Physical Science Blog

Do you think “Large Hadron Collider” (LHC) is a clunky name for the world’s biggest atom smasher? If so, you might be able to do something about it.

The Royal Society of Chemistry in London is hosting a contest to see who can come up with a better moniker for the nearly 17-mile- (27-kilometer-) long machine that operates underground near Geneva, Switzerland. As a bonus, the winner takes home £500 – equal to about $875.

In case you missed it, the LHC was finally fired up this week after years of delays. Scientists hope that the collider will open up a whole new window on physics by finding the theoretical, mass-endowing particle called the Higgs boson. Cosmology may also get a boost, as the LHC should reveal more about the energies of the Big Bang, or the “beginning” of the universe.

As for early entries in the renaming contest, sent out by the Royal Society of Chemistry in an email yesterday, my favorites include:

  • The Big Banger
  • Masta Blasta
  • Godbot
  • Colossitron
  • MASS (Magnificent Atom Smashing System)
  • RoboChrist
  • Proton Runner
  • Euronimo

Got a good nickname? Send the Royal Society of Chemistry a suggestion (tell us here, too) by September 17 and you may net almost a cool grand just for making up something silly, profound, or if you can pull it off, both.

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  1. I’d like to suggest a name in the latin vein– Orbis Maximus.

    Eric R. Olson, September 12, 2008 at 12:25 am


    Jim Baldwin, September 12, 2008 at 12:37 am
  3. I would like to compete with names for the Large Hadron.
    What e-mail should i submit the names?

    icaro taborda, September 12, 2008 at 3:38 am
  4. Following the trend of naming research devices after scientists, I believe the LHC should be named after Georges Lemaître; maybe it’s time to give this scientist some public visibility and recognition.

    Paula Sanchez, September 12, 2008 at 3:47 am
  5. yipee!!! i wanna give a nickname too…..
    why not try the….

    naveen, September 12, 2008 at 4:55 am
  6. Hey Icaro,

    All entries should go to the Royal Society of Chemistry’s media relations officer, Jon Edwards. He’s at Once you’ve let him know, please share your ideas with us back here as well. I’ll be competing too – good luck to us both!

    Adam Hadhazy, September 12, 2008 at 12:33 pm
  7. The name the ATLAS experiment team at the LHC used is appropriate: “Microscopic Black Hole Factory”
    Man’s technology has exceeded his grasp. – ‘The World is not Enough’
    (Breaking News: September 11, 2008 – ‘Peter Higgs launches attack against Nobel rival Stephen Hawking’ – The Times: “Professor Peter Higgs, the scientist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, the particle at the centre of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment, launched a withering attack on Professor Stephen Hawking, saying his work was “not good enough”.” “Both men are contenders for the Nobel prize — depending on the outcome of the experiment — and their spat is likely to send shockwaves through the scientific Establishment.” “Since he retired nearly 20 years ago, Professor Higgs, 79, has gradually detached himself from his academic world, preferring to read novels and play with his two grandchildren. He has, however, stayed in touch closely enough to pour scorn on the views of Professor Hawking and on scientists who predicted that the LHC might bring the end of the world.”)
    Zealous, jealous, Nobel Prize hungry Physicists are racing each other and stopping at nothing to try to find the supposed ‘Higgs Boson'(aka God) Particle, among others, and are risking nothing less than the annihilation of the Earth and all Life in endless experiments hoping to prove a theory when urgent tangible problems face the planet. The European Organization for Nuclear Research(CERN) new Large Hadron Collider(LHC) is the world’s most powerful atom smasher that will soon be firing groups of subatomic particles at each other at nearly the speed of light to create Miniature Big Bangs producing Micro Black Holes, Strangelets, AntiMatter and other potentially cataclysmic phenomena as described below.(Risk Evaluations HERE.)
    Particle physicists have run out of ideas and are at a dead end forcing them to take reckless chances with more and more powerful and costly machines to create new and never-seen-before, unstable and unknown matter while Astrophysicists, on the other hand, are advancing science and knowledge on a daily basis making new discoveries in these same areas by observing the universe, not experimenting with it and with your life.
    The LHC is a dangerous gamble as CERN physicist Alvaro De Rújula in the BBC LHC documentary, ‘The Six Billion Dollar Experiment’, incredibly admits quote, “Will we find the Higgs particle at the LHC? That, of course, is the question. And the answer is, science is what we do when we don’t know what we’re doing.” And CERN spokesmodel Brian Cox follows with this stunning quote, “the LHC is certainly, by far, the biggest jump into the unknown.”
    The CERN-LHC website Mainpage itself states: “There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions,…” Again, this is because they truly don’t know what’s going to happen. They are experimenting with forces they don’t understand to obtain results they can’t comprehend. If you think like most people do that ‘They must know what they’re doing’ you could not be more wrong. Some people think similarly about medical Dr.s but consider this by way of comparison and example from JAMA: “A recent Institute of Medicine report quoted rates estimating that medical errors kill between 44,000 and 98,000 people a year in US hospitals.” The second part of the CERN quote reads “…but what’s for sure is that a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator,…” A molecularly changed or Black Hole consumed Lifeless World? The end of the quote reads “…as knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe.” These experiments to date have so far produced infinitely more questions than answers but there isn’t a particle physicist alive who wouldn’t gladly trade his life to glimpse the “God particle”, and sacrifice the rest of us with him. Reason and common sense will tell you that the risks far outweigh any potential(as CERN physicists themselves say) benefits.
    This quote from National Geographic, “The hunt for the God particle”, exactly sums this “science” up: “If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before. That’s the essence of experimental particle physics: “You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out.” Read about the “other stuff” below:
    Popular Mechanics – “World’s Biggest Science Project Aims to Unlock ‘God Particle'” –

    SaneScienceOrg, September 12, 2008 at 2:22 pm
  8. All Right!!!
    I did submit the names:

    icaro taborda, September 13, 2008 at 5:30 pm
  9. What do you think about “Cosmotron”? A dramatic but also a rigurously exact name for that ambitious project (and with a necessary but very, very, very little touch of self-sarcasm :) ) Why Cosmotron? Because it’s what that LHC is. Those tiny black holes the collider can produce are not only mathematical abstractions, but for us the (non-scientific) mortals they are also celestial bodies. Not to mention that LHC re-creates, at a smaller scale, the few fraction of seconds after the Big Bang, which for most of people equals the early Universe itself. Why I particulary like the Cosmotron name (besider the fact it’s mine :) )is that it kind of sounds like Cosmodrome, which for the imagination of the big public signifies, for half a century already, a launchpad towards the rest of the Universe (the only way we had until now).

    monster magnet, September 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm
  10. I think the LHC should be re-named FRED (Freaky Round Earth Destroyer)

    This is a good way to make fun of the retards who think the LHC will create a catastrophic black hole.

    …besides, Fred is a nice name: friendly and non-threatening.

    briYin, September 29, 2008 at 2:33 am
  11. ELVIS


    (1) It ROCKS!
    (2) He could pop out of a rotatong Black Hole

    Christopher Springer, September 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm
  12. ELVIS


    (1) It ROCKS!
    (2) He could pop out of a rotating Black Hole

    Christopher Springer, September 29, 2008 at 3:41 pm
  13. chemicalgladitors ,,….how is it???

    deeps, September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm
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