What is a Gnome Doing at the Large Hadron Collider?

Meet Kern, the globe-traveling gnome. Here he is in one of the LHC’s tunnels. Why? Are gnomes the secret to unlocking neutrinos?

Kern is a project of Kern Precision Scales, a company that makes … you guessed it: Precision scales. See, gravity is slightly different at different places on the Earth’s surface, which is where lumpy-Earth maps like this come from. That means you’d weigh slightly more or less at different spots on Earth.

Kern the Gnome gets shipped all over the Earth where he is unpacked, weighed, photographed and finally sent to his next destination. He was heaviest at the South Pole, weighing 309.82 grams compared to Geneva’s 307.65 grams.

Follow Kern’s travels on his Tumblr, or track him on Twitter or the project blog.

( Cocktail Party Physics)