The Large Hadron Collider: The Extraordinary Story of the Higgs Boson and Other Stuff that Will Blow Your Mind

Don Lincoln. Johns Hopkins Univ, $29.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4214-1351-8
Particle physicist Lincoln follows up The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider with an insider’s look at the LHC in the wake of the Higgs boson’s discovery. Particle accelerators are designed to replicate the high-energy conditions of the early universe 13.8 billion years ago, and the LHC is the most powerful accelerator ever built. Lincoln describes in vivid, accessible language how the LHC works, using surfers, tetherballs, and more. He also covers the day the LHC came online and the day the discovery of the Higgs was announced. What sets the book apart is a chapter of “War Stories” full of oddball facts, such as the economics of cave digging and that some LHC parts use brass from decommissioned Soviet naval shell casings. While nothing will actually blow your mind, Lincoln’s tales of the LHC, from its proton-making “Duoplasmatron”—“which seems to have stolen its name from 1930s pulp science fiction”—to the valuable information gathered by its detectors, offers readers fresh insight into some of the most significant research in modern physics. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/21/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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