The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider

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Overview

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

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Editorial Reviews

New Scientist - Valerie Jamieson

What Lincoln does brilliantly is dispel the popular myth that the LHC was built solely to discover the Higgs boson, or 'God particle'. This is a project with a far wider reach... His fresh analogies and insights make this book very readable.

IEEE Spectrum Magazine - Sally Adee

I deeply enjoyed Lincoln’s very accessible discussions of antimatter and Cerenkov radiation. And the in-depth explanations of what the different calorimeters and solenoids do inside the LHC’s vast underground accelerator are fascinating.

Physics in Perspective - John S. Rigden and Roger H. Stuewer

The Quantum Frontier... prepares readers with what they can anticipate when the LHC becomes operational.

CERN Courier - Jordan Juras

Don Lincoln's playful, energetic style took me from the fundamentals of contemporary physics through to the extremely complex and sophisticated guts of the LHC experiments, touching on everything from the Earth's 'inevitable' destruction by black holes to speculated future physics experiements in a post-LHC era. Cracking it open for the first time, I was worried that a book taking under 200 pages to cover such an ambitious topic would be riddled with sterile facts listed on after the other. But the contrary is what I found.

infocus - John L. Hutchison

The book is written in a very readable and entertaining style, and I can warmly recommend it to anyone with more than a passing interest in science.

The Bookseller

This small book conveys the excitement and the importance of science's biggest ever experiment.

Contemporary Physics

It is to the author’s credit that he succeeds in explaining all the major ideas at a level that should be comprehensible to a very wide readership, using little or no mathematicallanguage... The style of writing is extremely pleasant, and any reader who has an interest in particle physics, including those without any previous knowledge of the subject, should find this material accessible and interesting.

Choice

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.

Choice

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.

Science News

A Fermilab scientist conveys the excitement surrounding the LHC.

Midwest Book Review

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.

Physics World

[A] practical attitude is typical of The Quantum Frontier... a useful experimental companion to the many theory-oriented books on particle physics.

Midwest Book Review

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.

Physics World

[A] practical attitude is typical of The Quantum Frontier... a useful experimental companion to the many theory-oriented books on particle physics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801891441
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,438,337
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Lincoln is a scientist with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He is the author of Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

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

Epilogue 163

Suggested reading 165

Index 169

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good for the Basics

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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