These days, it's not a trip to CERN without a tour in the ATLAS pit. My colleague Pavel snapped this photo of me standing on the scaffolding next to a tiny fraction of the ATLAS detector, which is currently under feverish construction in advance of the LHC start-up, still planned for end-2007.
Needless to say, this thing is big. BIG. But what I still find fascinating is that while the muon system is enormous, and the calorimeters are huge, the "inner detector" which tracks particles in a profoundly complicated silicon and straw-tube detector is much more human-sized. My old colleague Heinz took me to their assembly room where they were surveying the recently-assembled "barrel". Much smaller, but a sublime piece of work with the millions of channels we will be using to study nucleus-nucleus collisions at the LHC.