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The highest-energy particle accelerator ever built, the Large Hadron Collider runs under the border between France and Switzerland. It leapt into action on September 10, 2008, amid unprecedented global press coverage and widespread fears that its energy would create tiny black holes that could destroy the earth.
By smashing together particles smaller than atoms, the LHC recreates the conditions hypothesized to have existed just moments after the big bang. Physicists expect it to aid our understanding of how the universe came into being and to show us much about the standard model of particle physics—even possibly proving the existence of the mysterious Higgs boson. In exploring what the collider does and what it might find, Don Lincoln explains what the LHC is likely to teach us about particle physics, including uncovering the nature of dark matter, finding micro black holes and supersymmetric particles, identifying extra dimensions, and revealing the origin of mass in the universe.
Thousands of physicists from around the globe will have access to the LHC, none of whom really knows what outcomes will be produced by the $7.7 billion project. Whatever it reveals, the results arising from the Large Hadron Collider will profoundly alter our understanding of the cosmos and the atom and stimulate amateur and professional scientists for years to come.
Johns Hopkins University Press
Lincoln (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) uses a relaxed style to lead (and draw) the reader slowly into the complex subject matter. The text is supported by many helpful tables and figures that summarize and/or explain their topics well.
The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider should be in every physics library: it offers an exciting assessment of the Large Haldron Collider, which runs between France and Switzerland, and surveys just why its opening is so significant. You needn't be a physicist to appreciate its importance, and the clear explorations in layman's terms imparts excitement. Perfect for any general lending library strong in science.
A Fermilab scientist conveys the excitement surrounding the LHC.
[A] practical attitude is typical of The Quantum Frontier... a useful experimental companion to the many theory-oriented books on particle physics.
1 What we know : the standard model 4
2 What we guess : theories we want to test 23
3 How we do it : the large hadron collider 67
4 How we see it : the enormous detectors 96
5 Where we're going : the big picture, the universe, and the future 136
Suggested reading 165
Posted April 10, 2009
This book is a very good intro to the basics of the LHC, but then changes gears in the middle of chapter 4. Here he tells you that the book is going to go into more details so general readers should just skip to the next chapter. It read to me like he had written the last half of the 4th chapter first, then was told to dumb it down for real people and just wrote around it. He really should have gone back and put some more time into that part.
Still, it has lots of interesting stuff throughout. It begins by telling us why it is safe and what we already know about the standard model. Stuff like quarks and neutrinos and the strong force. Then it explains the stuff the LHC will look for like the Higgs Boson, Supersymmetry and even possible what makes up quarks. Then it gets more interesting talking about how the LHC will create beams of particles, and how it will detect the aftermath of the collisions. I was most entertained by the last chapter's insight into what the future holds for this type of research, including dark matter and the future of large colliders. So although it is rather thin, especially without half of a chapter, I still recommend it if you don't mind getting half a book for full price.