This chapter will give you basic knowledge about accelerators, The kind of apparatus that is used to explore the smallest components of matter.

To give examples of accelerators, we will here use the equipment and techniques that are used at CERN, Europe's common laboratory for particle physics that is located outside Geneva, on the border between Switzerland and France.

Accelerators works with charged particles that are accelerated to speeds close to the speed of light. By letting very fast and energetic particles collide in the accelerators, the scientists can extract information about matters smallest components. In such collisions are new particles created, which will provide information about the secrets of particle physics. In some sense the big accelerators can be said to be today's "super microscopes".

Goal: the purpose of this chapter is that you shall learn to understand how accelerators work. This knowledge will help you understand how the scientific information from Wired and Hypatia - the interactive programs for analysing pictures of particle collisions - should be interpreted is enhanced.