Bus-crushing, despite its indisputable awesomeness, is not on the agenda here. Rather, the point of all these superconducting magnets is to make everything curve. When the two protons collide, the shower of debris they create will not, unlike the cables in the detector, come with labels. Harris and Everaerts and the 2,000 other scientists who work on CMS have to figure out what each particle is. Since a magnetic field bends the path of a charged particle, you can measure how much each particle curves and how fast it's going and deduce its charge and mass. "We need to understand everything," Harris explains. "Where it was, how much momentum, how much energy." And do it over and over, for the hundreds of particles that burst from every collision, 600 million times a second.