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Physicist depicts Large Hadron Collider in da Vinci-style sketches

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Dr. Sergio Cittolin has created sketches of CERN's Large Hadron Collider in the style of Leonardo da Vinci.

CERN DaVinci
CERN DaVinci

Leonardo da Vinci didn't invent the Large Hadron Collider, but if he had, this is what his sketches may have looked like. These drawings are the work of Dr. Sergio Cittolin, a research physicist who's been at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for more than 30 years. A lifelong doodler, Cittolin is in charge of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the LHC, and was inspired to compose his da Vinci-style sketches years before collider operations became a reality. His first rendering appeared on the cover of a CMS design report, replete with da Vinci's trademark inverse typography, which can only be deciphered when reflected in a mirror.

"I thought that the Leonardo style was suitable to give the feeling of anticipation of new ideas," Cittolin said during a 2009 interview with Symmetry Magazine. "Da Vinci was the father of all engineers and described many of his inventions a long time before technology was ready to realize them." Aside from their remarkably faithful line style, Cittolin's drawings also bring a distinctly organic aesthetic to a technology that seems anything but. The idea, according to the physicist, was to simply "present the idea of data analysis to the world within the naturalist world of Leonardo." You can browse through Cittolin's full gallery here.