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Tunnel Visions

Author: Michael Riordan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022629479X
Size: 80.55 MB
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In October 1993 the US Congress terminated the Superconducting Super Collider at the time the largest basic-science project ever attempted, with a total cost estimated to exceed $10 billion. Its termination was a watershed event a pivot point not only in the history of physics but also for science in general. "Tunnel Visions" follows the evolution of the endeavor from its origins in the Reagan Administration s military buildup of the early 1980s to its post-Cold War demise a decade later. The failure of the SSC raises the question of whether Big Science has become too big and expensive; can scientists and their government backers effectively manage such enormous undertakings? The case of the Super Collider offers important lessons about the conditions required to build and sustain a large scientific laboratory, and the rise and fall of the SSC also serves as a cautionary tale about the long-term viability of a research community that comes to depend as much as did US high-energy physics upon a single experimental facility of such an unprecedented scale. Riordan, Hoddeson, and Kolb have written the definitive history of the SSC. "

Tunnel Visions

Author: Michael Riordan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022630583X
Size: 29.36 MB
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Starting in the 1950s, US physicists dominated the search for elementary particles; aided by the association of this research with national security, they held this position for decades. In an effort to maintain their hegemony and track down the elusive Higgs boson, they convinced President Reagan and Congress to support construction of the multibillion-dollar Superconducting Super Collider project in Texas—the largest basic-science project ever attempted. But after the Cold War ended and the estimated SSC cost surpassed ten billion dollars, Congress terminated the project in October 1993. Drawing on extensive archival research, contemporaneous press accounts, and over one hundred interviews with scientists, engineers, government officials, and others involved, Tunnel Visions tells the riveting story of the aborted SSC project. The authors examine the complex, interrelated causes for its demise, including problems of large-project management, continuing cost overruns, and lack of foreign contributions. In doing so, they ask whether Big Science has become too large and expensive, including whether academic scientists and their government overseers can effectively manage such an enormous undertaking.

Tunnel Visions

Author: Michael Riordan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226598901
Size: 73.77 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 527
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Starting in the 1950s, US physicists dominated the search for elementary particles; aided by the association of this research with national security, they held this position for decades. In an effort to maintain their hegemony and track down the elusive Higgs boson, they convinced President Reagan and Congress to support construction of the multibillion-dollar Superconducting Super Collider project in Texas—the largest basic-science project ever attempted. But after the Cold War ended and the estimated SSC cost surpassed ten billion dollars, Congress terminated the project in October 1993. Drawing on extensive archival research, contemporaneous press accounts, and over one hundred interviews with scientists, engineers, government officials, and others involved, Tunnel Visions tells the riveting story of the aborted SSC project. The authors examine the complex, interrelated causes for its demise, including problems of large-project management, continuing cost overruns, and lack of foreign contributions. In doing so, they ask whether Big Science has become too large and expensive, including whether academic scientists and their government overseers can effectively manage such an enormous undertaking.

Fermilab

Author: Lillian Hoddeson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226346250
Size: 30.48 MB
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Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, has stood at the frontier of high-energy physics for forty years. Fermilab is the first history of this laboratory and of its powerful accelerators told from the point of view of the people who built and used them for scientific discovery. Focusing on the first two decades of research at Fermilab, during the tenure of the laboratory’s charismatic first two directors, Robert R. Wilson and Leon M. Lederman, the book traces the rise of what they call “megascience,” the collaborative struggle to conduct large-scale international experiments in a climate of limited federal funding. In the midst of this new climate, Fermilab illuminates the growth of the modern research laboratory during the Cold War and captures the drama of human exploration at the cutting edge of science.

Charmed Particles

Author: Chrissy Kolaya
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781938103179
Size: 58.65 MB
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Set in a fictional prairie town in which the two overarching industries are a living history facility and a laboratory for experiments in high-energy particle physics,Charmed Particles tells the intertwined stories of two families. Abhijat is a theoretical physicist from India now working at the National Accelerator Research Laboratory. His wife, Sarala, home with their young daughter, Meena, struggles to assimilate to their new American culture. Meena’s best friend at school is Lily, a precocious child prodigy whose father self-identifies as "the last great gentleman explorer” and whose mother, a local politician, becomes entangled in efforts to stop to the National Accelerator Research Laboratory’s plans to build a new superconducting supercollider. The conflict over the collider fractures the community and creates deep divides within the families of the novel.

The Recombinant University

Author: Doogab Yi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022621611X
Size: 36.28 MB
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The advent of recombinant DNA technology in the 1970s was a key moment in the history of both biotechnology and the commercialization of academic research. Doogab Yi’s The Recombinant University draws us deeply into the academic community in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the technology was developed and adopted as the first major commercial technology for genetic engineering. In doing so, it reveals how research patronage, market forces, and legal developments from the late 1960s through the early 1980s influenced the evolution of the technology and reshaped the moral and scientific life of biomedical researchers. Bay Area scientists, university administrators, and government officials were fascinated by and increasingly engaged in the economic and political opportunities associated with the privatization of academic research. Yi uncovers how the attempts made by Stanford scientists and administrators to demonstrate the relevance of academic research were increasingly mediated by capitalistic conceptions of knowledge, medical innovation, and the public interest. Their interventions resulted in legal shifts and moral realignments that encouraged the privatization of academic research for public benefit. The Recombinant University brings to life the hybrid origin story of biotechnology and the ways the academic culture of science has changed in tandem with the early commercialization of recombinant DNA technology.

Tales Of The Quantum

Author: Art Hobson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190679638
Size: 19.80 MB
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Everybody has heard that we live in a world made of atoms. But far more fundamentally, we live in a universe made of quanta. Many things are not made of atoms: light, radio waves, electric current, magnetic fields, Earth's gravitational field, not to mention exotica such a neutron stars, black holes, dark energy, and dark matter. But everything, including atoms, is made of highly unified or "coherent" bundles of energy called "quanta" that (like everything else) obey certain rules. In the case of the quantum, these rules are called "quantum physics." This is a book about quanta and their unexpected, some would say peculiar, behavior--tales, if you will, of the quantum. The quantum has developed the reputation of being capricious, bewildering, even impossible to understand. The peculiar habits of quanta are certainly not what we would have expected to find at the foundation of physical reality, but these habits are not necessarily bewildering and not at all impossible or paradoxical. This book explains those habits--the quantum rules--in everyday language, without mathematics or unnecessary technicalities. While most popular books about quantum physics follow the topic's scientific history from 1900 to today, this book follows the phenomena: wave-particle duality, fundamental randomness, quantum states, superpositions (being in two places at once), entanglement, non-locality, Schrodinger's cat, and quantum jumps, and presents the history and the scientists only to the extent that they illuminate the phenomena.

The God Particle

Author: Leon M. Lederman
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780618711680
Size: 20.97 MB
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The world's foremost experimental physicist uses humor, metaphor, and storytelling to delve into the mysteries of matter, discussing the as-yet-to-be-discovered God particle.

Drawing Theories Apart

Author: David Kaiser
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226422658
Size: 11.45 MB
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Winner of the 2007 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society. Feynman diagrams have revolutionized nearly every aspect of theoretical physics since the middle of the twentieth century. Introduced by the American physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) soon after World War II as a means of simplifying lengthy calculations in quantum electrodynamics, they soon gained adherents in many branches of the discipline. Yet as new physicists adopted the tiny line drawings, they also adapted the diagrams and introduced their own interpretations. Drawing Theories Apart traces how generations of young theorists learned to frame their research in terms of the diagrams—and how both the diagrams and their users were molded in the process. Drawing on rich archival materials, interviews, and more than five hundred scientific articles from the period, Drawing Theories Apart uses the Feynman diagrams as a means to explore the development of American postwar physics. By focusing on the ways young physicists learned new calculational skills, David Kaiser frames his story around the crafting and stabilizing of the basic tools in the physicist's kit—thus offering the first book to follow the diagrams once they left Feynman's hands and entered the physics vernacular.

Crystal Fire

Author: Michael Riordan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393318517
Size: 37.52 MB
Format: PDF
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Focuses on the human factors behind the invention of the transistor, highlighting the pride and scientific ambitions of the team who spawned the epoch-making technology