On 4 July 2012, leading scientists operating the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson elementary particle. Six years on, Haynes celebrates the technological and scientific achievements of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator in our latest Owners’ Workshop Manual.
The Large Hadron Collider Manual comprehensively covers a broad range of topics, from the big questions about the universe that scientists were looking to answer, through to the build and operation of the Big Bang machine, and its key discoveries. It also poses questions about what the collider’s discoveries mean for the future and further plans for the machine itself.
This is Haynes’s most complex subject matter for an Owners’ Workshop Manual to date, with an in-depth look at particle physics and the ‘God particle’ itself.
The manual’s release also coincides with the 10thanniversary of the collider first firing up and many readers will recall the unfounded fears from 10 September 2008that a black hole would be created.
The Large Hadron Collider itself is a massive feat of engineering – built 175m underground in a gigantic 27km loop on the border between France and Switzerland – with an electricity bill alone that runs into tens of millions of pounds. The book examines how the particle-smasher works by accelerating particles to speeds close to the speed of light and measuring the impact of a collision between them.
Author Gemma Lavender is experienced in writing for popular science audiences and tackles the complex theories of physics and technical nuances of the machinery with straightforward language. Further assisting in explaining these mind-blowing ideas, the text is supported by stunning photographs and schematic diagrams throughout.
Talking about conveying the story of one of the most complex scientific experiments of all time, Gemma said: “For 50 years the Higgs boson was something of legend – a mysterious particle that had the potential to change the way physicists view the universe. It took billions of Euros and 28 years to construct the Large Hadron Collider to prove its existence.
“The Higgs, you see, creates a quantum energy field that spans the cosmos, giving fundamental particles, such as quarks and electrons that build up into everything we see around us, their mass. Therefore, its proven existence can help physicists seek the answers to some of our biggest questions, such as, what is the cosmos made of? Are there more dimensions beyond what we perceive to be space and time?
“However, beyond pondering these enormous questions, the book also seeks to celebrate the human achievement of the Large Hadron Collider – telling the stories of the hundreds of scientists and engineers who designed it, built it and worked on it every day, who are the real heroes of the experiment.”