A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication
Photo collage of CMS Cake Header
Alexey Finkel, Pamela Vo and Nathaniel Pastika

How to make CERN’s most delicious detector


Three University of Minnesota graduate students took their particle physics skills to the kitchen to create an edible model of the CMS detector, and symmetry has the recipe.

Particle physics has never been so sweet. Courtesy of a group of graduate students from the University of Minnesota, you can now create your own model of the detector for the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider―in dessert form.

The CMS detector is an elaborate apparatus that measures the type, energy and momentum of particles that erupt from particle collisions inside the LHC. It stands about five stories tall and weighs 14,500 tons.

Inspired by students who built a miniature version of the grand experiment out of Legos, Minnesota graduate students Alexey Finkel, Pam Vo and Joe Pastika decided it was time to make their own model—out of wafers, chocolate, gelatin and other delicious goodness.

It required a little creativity and a lot of toothpicks. But after weeks of planning and two solid days of baking, the group successfully produced the first-ever edible CMS replica. Follow the recipe below to make a CMS detector of your own.