The Code of the Universe

The Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment, or CMS for short, is one of the four large detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. The CMS detector records particle collisions in the 27-kilometre-long LHC. 

At its heart is a silicon pixel detector capable of taking 40 million images per second, similar to a high-speed digital camera. This allows up to 50 proton collisions to be studied simultaneously. 

The highly sensitive device is the product of almost ten years of research conducted by a Swiss consortium comprising the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. 

A new and more powerful pixel detector is currently being developed, again in close collaboration with ETH Zurich, which will be available in 2028. Advanced technologies will allow even more precise measurements and analyses to be made.




View of the CMS detector in the ring-shaped Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva. It is one of the two detectors that led to the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, thereby providing the last missing piece in the Standard Model of particle physics. The pixel detector that ETH Zurich helped develop lies next to the beam pipes in which the particles collide and whose diameter is no more than five centimetres at their thinnest point.