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The Large Hadron Collider [Paperback]

Lyndon Evans
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 14, 2009 143980401X 978-0470863589 1

This richly illustrated, full color book dissects the technology of the LHC into its component parts, showing how state-of-the-art techniques have been applied to beam control (injection, stabilization, acceleration, and dumping); cryogenics; superconducting magnet technology; and vacuum. It also describes the civil engineering and logistical challenges of the construction of the machine as well as the theoretical challenges that drove the scientific community to build the LHC. Each of the experiments is explained in terms of scientific goals, new methods of particle detection, and the specific challenges of handling the millions of gigabytes of data produced every second. Written by the lead scientists involved with the LHC, this book offers a testimonial of this marvelous endeavor from the people most directly involved in its conception and construction.

Frequently Bought Together

The Large Hadron Collider + Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles + The Quantum Frontier: The Large Hadron Collider
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Editorial Reviews


Each chapter or sub-chapter is written by experts who played a major role and this is of course one of the main strengths of this book. … overall this book can be read with enjoyment by readers with a wide range of backgrounds. …
Contemporary Physics, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2011

About the Author

Lyndon Evans is the lead scientist of the LHC program at CERN. In 2008, he was named Nature Magazine’s "Newsmaker of the Year" and was awarded the Robert R. Wilson prize of the American Physical Society.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: EFPL Press; 1 edition (August 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143980401X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470863589
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best single book on the LHC May 11, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is by far the best on the subject of the design and operation of the LHC. It contains sufficient detail to interest those who want to know the technology and the science, and it's remarkably candid in describing the things that went well and those that did not. Big science projects are peculiar animals, and Lyn managed to effectively convey the challenges of organizing and building this massive system. If you only had the time or money to read one book on the LHC this is the one to buy!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a little dry at points, but... August 22, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I like the book, it gets fairly dry and technical at points. It's as if, in order to be as complete as possible they went a little overboard. (Do I really need to know the aperture size inside every little part?)

I actually stopped reading it at chapter 6, which regards the ATLAS detector. There's nothing wrong with this chapter, it's just that, three-quarters the way through this book, I really needed a break.

On another note, try as I might, I cannot understand chapter 2, which explains the fundamental physics behind the experiments. It's way over my head, so much so I suspect it's written at a Phd level.

However, the tale behind the LHC is interesting in general, and you can find out about it in the book. For example, the beam starts out in an accelerator that's been around since 1959. One of the detectors uses brass obtained from Russian Navy artillery-shell casings. The beam itself has no more physical energy than a flying mosquito, but has more electrical energy than that of a speeding train. (I'm not entirely sure what that means, except that it would be very bad for the beam to stray, to the point where it would destroy much of the LHC.)

You also come across cool terms like "kicker magnets," "beam dump," and "duoplasmatron." And, even though I haven't finished the book, I'm fairly comfortable with my level of knowledge now. I figure I know more about the LHC than 99% of the population.

As for how reading the book has affected my life, I was able to notice the LHC's depiction in the recent Muppet movie. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is shown standing in front of the ATLAS detector. The detector is still open, as it was undergoing construction while the picture was taken. You can see the toroidal magnets inside.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Report on a great enginering effort May 1, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Large Hadron Collider is finally working! When news of a shutdown for repair reached us in 2009, we might well feel a little uneasy. On reading this book, however, I realize that some initial problems simply had to be expected. The complexity and sheer size of this enormous laboratory is well documented (for most of us) within this restricted space of 251 pages, and one is equally impressed by the report on the engineering effort.
There is a short introduction to the physics of the collider and the questions one hopes it will elucidate, but the bulk is dedicated to the technology, and this makes a tour through the many disciplines involved: cryogenics, vacuum technology, magnets, instrumentation, and the data technology and organizing necessary for the extraction of the information in the billions of experiments, of which hopefully a few will give new insights. Perhaps one will even find the Higgs boson?
Anyhow, read this book!
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