by Gene Turnbow, station manager

Move over, CERN. Step aside, LHC. Behold the window by which we might view the wonders of the Universe:  the LBC, or “Large Brick Collider.”

This is an actual working LEGO Particle Accelerator that accelerates a LEGO soccer ball to a speed of about  7.76 miles per hour. LEGO builder Jason Alleman created his particle accelerator and posted it on his blog at JKBrickworks.com. It began as an idea for a gag video, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized he could build an actual working device.

Jason Alleman's 'Large Brick Collider' uses this geared wheel approach to accelerating the collider's soccer ball particle.

Jason Alleman’s ‘Large Brick Collider’ uses this geared wheel approach to accelerating the collider’s soccer ball particle rather than magnetic fields used by traditional devices.

Using a Power Functions M motor through a simple gearbox, he was able to make an acceleration device that adds a little more speed to the soccer ball on each revolution. He had tried powering both wheels in the accelerator but this introduced chaotic vibration in the “particle”, making it bounce out of the track entirely.

The scientist-observer in the video is counting off the speed as the particle moves faster and faster. Alleman calculated the actual speed of the ball at each stage by stepping through the video and counting how many studs the ball passed. The ring has a circumference of around 264 studs. At maximum speed, the ball travels around it at the rate of about once every 0.6 seconds. That comes out to 440 S/s (“studs per second”), which equates to about 7.76 miles per hour.

Jason Alleman has been working with LEGO since he was a child.  He and his partner Kristal (the “K” in JK Brickworks) have been working together to build all sorts of amazing models.

Watch this video to witness an amazing scientific discovery: LEGO plates!

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