Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles - Paul Halpern (2009)


Introduction. The Machinery of Perfection

1 Steven Weinberg, in Graham Farmelo, “Beautiful Equations to Die For,” Daily Telegraph, February 20, 2002, p. 20.

2 Bryce DeWitt, telephone conversation with author, December 4, 2002.

3 President William J. Clinton, Letter to the House Committee on Appropriations, June 16, 1993.

4 Lyn Evans, “First Beam in the LHC—Accelerating Science,” CERN press release, September 10, 2008, (accessed March 2, 2009).

5 Peter Higgs, in “In Search of the God Particle,” Independent, April 8, 2008, (accessed April 18, 2008).

6 Lyn Evans in “Meet Evans the Atom, Who Will End the World on Wednesday,” Daily Mail, September 7, 2008, (accessed March 4, 2009).

7 J. P. Blaizot et al., “Study of Potentially Dangerous Events during Heavy-Ion Collisions at the LHC: Report of the LHC Safety Study Group,” CERN Report 2003-001, February 28, 2003, p. 10.

1. The Secrets of Creation

1 Isaac Newton, Opticks, 4th ed. (London: William Innys, 1730), p. 400.

2. The Quest for a Theory of Everything

1 L. M. Brown et al., “Spontaneous Breaking of Symmetry,” in Lillian Hoddeson et al., eds., The Rise of the Standard Model: Particle Physics in the 1960s and 1970s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 508.

3. Striking Gold: Rutherford’s Scattering Experiments

1 Mark Oliphant, “The Two Ernests, Part I,” Physics Today (September 1966): 36.

2 David Wilson, Rutherford, Simple Genius (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983), p. 62.

3 J. J. Thomson, Recollections and Reflections (New York: Macmillan, 1937), pp. 138-139.

4 Ernest Rutherford to Mary Newton, August 1896, in Wilson, Rutherford, Simple Genius, pp. 122-123.

5 Ernest Rutherford to Mary Newton, February 21, 1896, in ibid., p. 68.

6 Thomson, Recollections and Reflections, p. 341.

7 Arthur S. Eve, in Lawrence Badash, “The Importance of Being Ernest Rutherford,” Science 173 (September 3, 1971): 871.

8 Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error (New York: Harper & Bros., 1949), p. 118.

9 Ibid.

10 Ernest Rutherford, “The Development of the Theory of Atomic Structure,” in Joseph Needham and Walter Pagel, eds., Background to Modern Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1938), p. 68.

11 Ibid.

12 Ernest Rutherford to B. Boltwood, December 14, 1910, in L. Badash, Rutherford and Boltwood (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1969), p. 235.

13 Ernest Rutherford to Niels Bohr, March 20, 1913, in Niels Bohr, Collected Works, vol. 2 (Amsterdam: North Holland, 1972), p. 583.

14 Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conservations (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), p. 61.

15 Niels Bohr, in Martin Gardner, The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener (New York: Quill, 1983), p. 108.

4. Smashing Successes: The First Accelerators

1 George Gamow, My World Line: An Informal Autobiography (New York: Viking, 1970), pp. 77-78.

2 Ibid.

3 Glenn T. Seaborg and Richard Corliss, Man and Atom: Building a New World through Nuclear Technology (New York: Dutton, 1971), p. 24.

4 Leo Szilard, “Acceleration of Corpuscles,” Patent Application, December 17, 1928, in Valentine Telegdi, “Szilard as Inventor: Accelerators and More,” Physics Today 53, no. 10 (October 2000): 25.

5 “Man Hurls Bolt of 7,000,000 Volts,” New York Times, November 29, 1933, p. 14.

6 A. Brasch and F. Lange, Zeitschrift für Physik 70 (1931): 10-11, 17-18.

7 Herbert Childs, An American Genius: The Life of Ernest Orlando Lawrence (New York: Dutton, 1968), pp. 40-41.

8 Ernest O. Lawrence and J. W. Beams, “The Element of Time in the Photoelectric Effect,” Physical Review 32, no. 3 (1928): 478-485.

9 Mark L. Oliphant, “The Two Ernests-I,” Physics Today (September 1966): 38.

10 Childs, An American Genius, pp. 146-147.

11 N. P. Davis, Lawrence and Oppenheimer (New York: Da Capo, 1986), p. 28.

12 Childs, An American Genius, pp. 139-140.

13 E. T. S. Walton, “Recollections of Nuclear Physics in the Early Nineteen Thirties,” Europhysics News 13, no. 8/9 (August/ September 1982): 2.

14 Ibid.

15 E. T. S. Walton to Winifred (Freda) Wilson, April 17, 1932, in Brian Cathcart, The Fly in the Cathedral: How a Group of Cambridge Scientists Won the International Race to Split the Atom (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), p. 238.

16 Oliphant, “The Two Ernests-I,” p. 45.

17 Childs, An American Genius, p. 210.

18 Oliphant, “The Two Ernests-I,” p. 44.

5. A Compelling Quartet: The Four Fundamental Forces

1 Emilio Segrè, Enrico Fermi, Physicist (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 72.

2 Cecil Powell, Fragments of Autobiography (Bristol: University of Bristol Press, 1987), p. 19.

3 Gamow, My World Line, p. 127 (see chap. 4, n. 1).

6. A Tale of Two Rings: The Tevatron and the Super Proton Synchrotron

1 Ernest Lawrence, reported by Robert R. Wilson, interviewed by Spencer Weart on May 19, 1977, in Robert Rathbun Wilson, “From Frontiersman to Physicist,” Physics in Perspective 2 (2000): 182.

2 Robert R. Wilson, interviewed by Spencer Weart on May 19, 1977, in ibid., p. 183.

3 Ibid, p. 173.

4 Brookhaven National Laboratory, “The Cosmotron,” (accessed April 28, 2008).

5 Andrew Sessler and Edmund Wilson, Engines of Discovery: A Century of Particle Accelerators (Singapore: World Scientific, 2007), p. 59.

6 Peter Rodgers, “To the LHC and Beyond,” Physics World 17 (September 1, 2004): 27.

7 Philip J. Hilts, Scientific Temperaments: Three Lives in Contemporary Science (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982), p. 23.

8 J. D. Jackson, “Early Days of Wine and Cheese,” Fermilab Annual Report (Batavia, IL: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, 1992).

9 Robert P. Crease and Charles C. Mann, The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics (New York: Collier Books, 1986), p. 343.

10 Robert R. Wilson and Adrienne Kolb, “Building Fermilab: A User’s Paradise,” in Lillian Hoddeson et al., eds., The Rise of the Standard Model: Particle Physics in the 1960s and 1970s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 356-357.

11 M. Bodnarczuk, ed., “Reflections on the Fifteen-Foot Bubble Chamber at Fermilab” (Batavia, IL: Fermilab, 1988).

12 Burton Richter, “The Rise of Colliding Beams,” in Lillian Hoddeson et al., The Rise of the Standard Model, p. 263.

13 Crease and Mann, The Second Creation, p. 345.

14 Dieter Haidt, “The Discovery of the Weak Neutral Currents,” AAPPS Bulletin 15, no. 1 (February 2005): 49.

15 Gary Taubes, “Carlo Rubbia and the Discovery of the W and the Z,” Physics World (January 9, 2003): 23.

16 Daniel Denegri, “When CERN Saw the End of the Alphabet,” CERN Courier 43, no. 4 (May 1, 2003): 30.

17 “Europe 3, U.S. Not Even Z-Zero,” New York Times, June 6, 1983, p. A16.

18 Boyce D. McDaniel and Albert Silverman, Robert Rathbun Wilson (1915-2000), Biographical Memoirs, vol. 80 (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001), p. 12.

19 Herwig Schopper, telex to Leon Lederman, July 5, 2003, Fermilab Archives.

7. Deep in the Heart of Texas: The Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider

1 Lillian Hoddeson and Adrienne W. Kolb, “The Superconducting Super Collider’s Frontier Outpost, 1983-1988,” Minerva 38 (2000): 275.

2 Leon Lederman with Dick Teresi, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), p. 379.

3 Attributed to Jack London. See, for example, Irving Shepard, Jack London’s Tales of Adventure (New York: Doubleday, 1956), p. vii.

4 George F. Will, “The Super Collider,” Washington Post, February 15, 1987, p. C7.

5 “Remarks by the President in Meeting with Supporters of the Superconducting Super Collider Program,” March 30, 1988, Fermilab History Collection.

6 Sharon Begley, “The ‘Quark Barrel’ Politics of the SSC,” Newsweek, July 2, 1990.

7 “Yes, Big Science. But Which Projects?” New York Times editorial, May 20, 1988, p. A30.

8 Robert Reinhold, “Physics, Shymics—This Project Is a $6 Billion Plum,” New York Times, March 29, 1987, p. D4.

9 Dietrick E. Thomsen, “States Race SSC Site-Proposal Deadline—Superconducting Super Collider Site Selection,” Science News, September 12, 1987.

10 Ben A. Franklin, “Texas Is Awarded Giant U.S. Project on Smashing Atom,” New York Times, November 11, 1988, p. A1.

11 Venetios Polychronakos, in discussion with the author at CERN, June 27, 2008.

12 Leon Lederman, in “Exodus of Scientists Forecast at Fermilab,” New York Times, November 15, 1988, p. C8.

13 Tom Kirk to Michael Riordan, June 17, 1999, in Lillian Hoddeson and Adrienne W. Kolb, “The Superconducting Super Collider’s Frontier Outpost, 1983-1988,” Minerva 38 (2000): 304.

14 Michael Riordan, “A Tale of Two Cultures: Building the Superconducting Super Collider,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 32 (2001): 129.

15 Neil Ashcroft, in William J. Broad, “Heavy Costs of Major Projects Pose a Threat to Basic Science,” New York Times, May 27, 1990, p. A1.

16 Arno Penzias, in Malcolm Browne, “Supercollider’s Rising Cost Provokes Opposition,” New York Times, May 29, 1990, p. A1.

17 Michael Riordan, “The Demise of the Superconducting Super Collider,” Physics in Perspective 2 (2000): 416.

18 Raphael Kasper, in Sherry Jacobson, “Superconductor Staff Reunites 10 Years Later,” Dallas Morning News (Ellis County), July 23, 2005, p. 1.

19 William John Womersley, in Charles Seife, “Physics Tries to Leave the Tunnel,” Science 302, no. 5642 (October 3, 2003): 36.

20 Wade Roush, “Colliding Forces: Life after the SSC,” Science 266, no. 5185 (October 28, 1994): 532.

21 Eric Berger, “Behind a Scientific Success, a Failed Texas Experiment,” Houston Chronicle, May 25, 2008, p. 1.

22 Jeffrey Mervis, “Scientists Are Long Gone, But Bitter Memories Remain,” Science 302, no. 5642 (October 3, 2003): 40.

23 Lederman, The God Particle, p. x.

8. Crashing by Design: Building the Large Hadron Collider

1 CERN Communication Group, “LHC the Guide,” CERN-Brochure- 2008-001-Eng, p. 31.

9. Denizens of the Dark: Resolving the Mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy

1 Vera Rubin, in Amy Boggs, “AAVC Award for Distinguished Achievement,” Vassar, The Alumnae/i Quarterly 103, no. 1 (Winter 2006).

2 Vera Rubin, in Stephen Cheung, “Alum Vera Rubin receives award for achievements in astrophysics,” Miscellany News (Vassar College), February 15, 2007.

10. The Brane Drain: Looking for Portals to Higher Dimensions

1 Voltaire, Candide, trans. Shane Weller (Mineola, NY: Dover, 1991), p. 5.

2 Bryce DeWitt, telephone conversation with author, December 4, 2002.

3 C. B. Collins and S. W. Hawking, “Why Is the Universe Isotropic?” Astrophysical Journal 180 (March 1, 1973): 171.

11. Microscopic Black Holes: A Boon to Science or a Boom for the World?

1 S. Dimopoulos and G. Landsberg, “Black holes at the LHC,” Physical Review Letters 87 (2001): 161602.

2 “Complaint for temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction,” Luis Sancho and Walter L. Wagner, plaintiffs, Civil No. 08-00136-HG-KSC, U.S. District Court of Hawaii.

3 Ibid.

4 Julia Gray, conversation with author at CERN, June 26, 2008.

5 Nima Arkani-Hamed, in Dennis Overbye, “Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More,” New York Times, March 29, 2008, p. D1.

6 “Review of the Safety of LHC Collisions,” LHC Safety Assessment Group, CERN Report, June 2008.

Conclusion. The Future of High-Energy Physics: The International Linear Collider and Beyond

1 Martinus Veltman, in J. R. Minkel, “As LHC Draws Nigh, Nobelists Outline Dreams—and Nightmares,” Scientific American, July 2, 2008, (accessed July 13, 2008).

2 Adam Yurkewicz, conversation with author at CERN, June 26, 2008.

3 Barry Barish, “Director’s Corner,” ILC Newsline, December 20, 2007, (accessed July 13, 2008).

4 Venetios Polychronakos, conversation with author at CERN, June 27, 2008.

5 Science and Technology Facilities Council, “Delivery Plan,” December 11, 2007, (accessed July 14, 2008).

6 Brian May, in Roger Highfield, “Brian May Attacks Science Research Cuts,” Daily Telegraph, April 14, 2008, (accessed July 13, 2008).