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Tunnel Visions

Author: Michael Riordan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022630583X
Size: 33.92 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: 022629479X
Size: 47.83 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: 9780226598901
Size: 60.87 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 735
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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: 78.64 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.

Drawing Theories Apart

Author: David Kaiser
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226422658
Size: 61.93 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.

The Recombinant University

Author: Doogab Yi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022614383X
Size: 62.52 MB
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This title examines the history of biotechnology when it was new, especially when synonymous with recombinant DNA technology. It focuses on the academic community in the San Francisco Bay Area where recombinant DNA technology was developed and adopted as the first major commercial technology for genetic engineering at Stanford in the 1970s. The book argues that biotechnology was initially a hybrid creation of academic and commercial institutions held together by the assumption of a positive relationship between private ownership and the public interest.

Charmed Particles

Author: Chrissy Kolaya
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781938103179
Size: 77.13 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.

Crystal Fire

Author: Michael Riordan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393318517
Size: 14.18 MB
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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

From The Great Wall To The Great Collider

Author: Steven J. Nadis
Publisher: International Press of Boston
ISBN: 9781571463104
Size: 78.81 MB
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The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson was a sensational triumph—the culmination of a 48-year-long search that put the finishing touches on the so-called “Standard Model” of particle physics. While the celebrations were still underway, researchers in China were making plans to continue the centuries-old quest to identify the fundamental building blocks of nature. More specifically, they began laying the groundwork for a giant accelerator—up to 100 kilometers in circumference—that would transport physics into a previously inaccessible, high-energy realm where a host of new particles, and perhaps a sweeping new symmetry, might be found. The case for such an instrument is compelling: Even though the Standard Model can describe the behavior of particles with astounding accuracy, it is incomplete. The theory has little to say about the Big Bang, gravity, dark matter, dark energy, and other far-reaching phenomena. This book explains how an ambitious new machine—on the scale of China’s proposed “Great Collider”—could provide us with a fuller understanding of the origins of our universe and its most basic constituents.

The God Particle

Author: Leon M. Lederman
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780618711680
Size: 48.16 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.