Physicists use three main types of tool to carry out their research: accelerators, detectors and computers. Accelerators are powerful machines designed to accelerate particles to extremely high energies, causing them to smash into one another. CERN operates a complex consisting of several accelerators, the most powerful of which is the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), a ring 27 kilometres in circumference and buried 100 metres underground. Detectors are high-precision instruments that record data concerning the particles created during the collisions. The scientists then try to make sense of these collisions with the help of cutting-edge computing technology that collates, stores and analyses the data recorded by the detectors.