Help Choose the Next Iconic "Big Science" Image

Vote for your favorite photo among the stunning submissions from the world's top physics facilities, including Brookhaven Lab

The following press release was issued Wednesday, Feb. 11, by the InterAction Collaboration. The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory participated in the event and invited local photographers on a behind-the-scenes tour of cutting-edge facilities that explore some of the most pressing questions in science. Vote for your favorite submissions at and visit Brookhaven's Physics Photowalk page to learn more.

STAR detector enlarge

A side view of the STAR detector by Enrique Diaz.

Last September, hundreds of amateur and professional photographers streamed into particle physics laboratories around the world to produce thousands of photographs of state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories and people, in all their beauty and complexity. Now, the citizens of the world are invited to vote for their three favorites as part of the "people's choice" global photowalk competition.

In total, last year's Particle Physics Photowalk brought nearly 400 photographers to 10 leading physics laboratories. After a short pause for downloading, processing and, in some cases, actual developing, the photographers submitted their best photos to a series of local competitions. From these competitions emerged the top 10 photos from each participating country.

View the 40 finalists and cast your vote.

In addition to the people's choice winner, a panel of international judges will select a second global winner. Both winning photos will be announced in March and will be displayed in laboratory exhibits around the world. They will also appear in the particle physics publications symmetry and the CERN Courier.

Photographers joined the Particle Physics Photowalk at these participating laboratories:

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, USA
  • Chilbolton Observatory in Hampshire, UK
  • Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, UK
  • Fermilab in Illinois, USA
  • Frascati National Laboratory in Frascati, Italy
  • Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Gran Sasso, Italy
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK
  • Southern National Laboratory in Catania, Italy
  • TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada
  • United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, UK

In Canada, participants visited and photographed major experimental facilities not usually open to the public including TRIUMF's rare-isotope accelerators, some of the most powerful in the world.

In the United States, highlights included Fermilab's muon storage ring, formerly the lab's antimatter source, and the Collider Detector at Fermilab, a 4,500-ton detector that sits four stories tall and is composed of more than one million individual detector elements. At Brookhaven National Laboratory, visitors were able to explore the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, the only particle collider currently operating in the United States, and the National Synchrotron Light Source, which provides intense, focused light for research as diverse as better batteries, new high-performance materials and more effective drug treatments.

In Italy, photographers descended into the largest underground laboratory in the world, Gran Sasso National Laboratory, to photograph the many experiments protected beneath 1400 meters of rock. On the surface, participants explored the many accelerators and detectors at Frascati National Laboratory and Southern National Laboratory.

In the United Kingdom, participants toured Chilbolton Observatory, with its 25-meter antenna and millimetre wave laboratory; Daresbury Laboratory's Cockcroft Institute and the Engineering Technology Centre, where machinery is developed for some of the world's most advanced scientific equipment; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory's Ion Source Laboratory, space assembly integration and verification facility, and robotics trial area; and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre's 36-inch telescope and electronics and materials laboratories.

For more information on the Particle Physics Photowalk, visit, or follow @particlenews on Twitter for the latest updates.

Visit to view photos from both this year's events and from the first Particle Physics Photowalk, which took place in 2010.

The Particle Physics Photowalk is organized by the InterAction collaboration, whose members represent particle physics laboratories in Asia, North America and Europe.

Media contacts

Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA
Peter Genzer
(631) 344-3174

Fermilab, USA
Andre Salles
(630) 840-6733

INFN, Italy
Vincenzo Napolano

Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK
Terry O'Connor

TRIUMF, Canada
Tim Meyer
(604) 222-7674

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