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Who Cares about Particle Physics? By Pauline Gagnon (formerly Senior Research Scientist, formerly Senior Research Scientist, Indiana University, USA (retired))

Summary

This book explains in clear terms for non-specialists what is happening at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics located near Geneva. It starts from the basics to build a solid understanding of the relevance of current research in particle physics.

Who Cares about Particle Physics? Summary

Who Cares about Particle Physics?: Making Sense of the Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider and CERN by Pauline Gagnon (formerly Senior Research Scientist, formerly Senior Research Scientist, Indiana University, USA (retired))

CERN, the European Laboratory for particle physics, regularly makes the news. What kind of research happens at this international laboratory and how does it impact people's daily lives? Why is the discovery of the Higgs boson so important? Particle physics describes all matter found on Earth, in stars and all galaxies but it also tries to go beyond what is known to describe dark matter, a form of matter five times more prevalent than the known, regular matter. How do we know this mysterious dark matter exists and is there a chance it will be discovered soon? About sixty countries contributed to the construction of the gigantic Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and its immense detectors. Dive in to discover how international teams of researchers work together to push scientific knowledge forward. Here is a book written for every person who wishes to learn a little more about particle physics, without requiring prior scientific knowledge. It starts from the basics to build a solid understanding of current research in particle physics. A good dose of curiosity is all one will need to discover a whole world that spans from the infinitesimally small and stretches to the infinitely large, and where imminent discoveries could mark the dawn of a huge revolution in the current conception of the material world.

Who Cares about Particle Physics? Reviews

A great general interest primer with a surprising and welcome feminist focus - Most highly recommended. * Times Higher Education *
I am giving this book four stars for its interesting insider content and particularly its insight into the way that the LHC is used that I have never seen elsewhere ... it's a book that's well worth reading if you have interest in this most fundamental of physical explorations. * Brian Clegg, Popular Science *
Pauline Gagnon tells the wonderful scientific adventure of CERN that led to confirming the existence of the Higgs boson and that should bring a revolution in physics in elucidating big enigmas in the coming years such as the mystery of dark matter or the disappearance of antimatter. * Pauline Gravel, science writer, Le Devoir newspaper, Montreal *
Pauline Gagnon's book is a wonderfully detailed and comprehensive look at how scientists have pieced together our best understanding of the natural world, from accelerators to cosmology. If you want to know how particle physicists really work and think, this is a great place to start. * Sean Carroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe *
I am fascinated. You should read it too; everybody can read it and understand it. Madame Gagnon has a knack for finding very efficient images to make us understand extremely complex phenomena. * Catherine Perrin, host of Medium Large on Radio-Canada *
Pauline Gagnon is an inside-woman of the particle-physics world - and this excellent book shows just that. The comprehensive account of where particle physics stands today is peppered by colourful metaphors that make even the most complex concepts accessible to everyone. On top of that, Gagnon gives the reader a glimpse into the inner workings of CERN and thoroughly describes how its huge international collaborations actually make new discoveries. This is a book that admirably delivers on the promise of taking the general reader seriously and a timely must-read if you want to get up to speed with Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider. * Leonie Mueck, Senior Editor, Nature *
During the two-year search for Higgs in the LHC, Dr. Gagnon's lively and insightful blog was a key source for those outside the physics community who needed to keep track of the process and have it explained in layperson' terms. Her excellent book will now be essential reading for those seeking to understand why the discovery was important, and what might come next from the LHC. * Robert Evans, former Reuter correspondent in Geneva *

About Pauline Gagnon (formerly Senior Research Scientist, formerly Senior Research Scientist, Indiana University, USA (retired))

Pauline Gagnon was born in Quebec, Canada. After teaching physics for a few years in local colleges, she moved to California, where she completed a PhD in particle physics at University of California in Santa Cruz in 1993. She then started doing research at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics and is now a Senior Research Scientist at Indiana University. Since 2012, Pauline Gagnon has devoted all her time to popular science activities. In her own words, particle physics is too much fun to leave it only to physicists.

Table of Contents

1: What is matter made of? 2: What about the Higgs boson? 3: Accelertors and detector, the essential tools 4: The discovery of the Higgs boson 5: The dark side of the Universe 6: Going beyond the Standard Model: calling SUSY to the rescue 7: What does fundamental research put on our plate? 8: CERN experiments: a unique management and cooperation model 9: Diversity in science 10: What could th next big discoveries be?

Additional information

NGR9780198826279
9780198826279
0198826273
Who Cares about Particle Physics?: Making Sense of the Higgs Boson, the Large Hadron Collider and CERN by Pauline Gagnon (formerly Senior Research Scientist, formerly Senior Research Scientist, Indiana University, USA (retired))
New
Paperback
Oxford University Press
2018-04-29
272
N/A
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