Crucial components of the device that will reproduce conditions similar to those immediately after the Big Bang left Oxford last week for the European Particle Physics Laboratory, CERN, near Geneva.
Four modules assembled by scientists at Oxford University will form the core of the Semiconductor Tracker (SCT), part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
The LHC will send two counter-rotating beams of particles round an underground ring at 99.999999 per cent of the speed of light. When the beams collide, new particles will be produced.
These will be studied at four detectors including the 7,000- tonne ATLAS, which is as big as a five-storey building. This will contain the SCT, which will track the movements of the charged particles.
Out of nearly 1,000 million collisions a second, only a few will produce particles that might lead to new discoveries.
The SCT detector consists of a central region and two end caps. The centre is formed from four concentric barrels, covered with 2,112 silicon modules.
The barrels were made abroad and sent to Oxford for precision assembly.
A superconducting solenoid will provide a magnetic field of 2 Tesla.