It may at first seem that the world of subatomic physics is far removed from our every day lives. Isn't it all just a waste of time and taxpayers' money? Hopefully, all who read this book will come to a different conclusion. Collider physics is all about our origins, and this aspect alone makes it worthy of our very best attention. The experiments conducted within the vast collider chambers are at the forefront of humanity's quest to unweave the great tapestry that is the universe. Everything is connected. Within the macrocosm is the microcosm. By knowing how matter is structured, how atoms and elementary particles interact, and what forces control the interactions between the particles, we discover further clues as to why the universe is the way it is, and we uncover glimpses of how everything came into being.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the process of coming online at CERN, is the world's largest and most complex machine. It represents the pinnacle of human ingenuity, and its physical characteristics, costs, and workings astound us at every turn.
We are literally humbled by the machine that has been produced through a grand international collaboration of scientists. This book is about what those scientists hope to discover with the LHC, for hopes do run high, and there is much at stake. Careers, reputations and prestigious science prizes will be realized, and possibly lost, in the wake of the results that the LHC will produce. And there are risks, real and imagined. The LHC will probe the very fabric of matter and it will help us understand the very weft and the weave of the universe.
First popular science book to introduce and explain what the Large Hadron Collider is, how it works, and what it hopes to discover Discusses the possible risks and dangers associated with the LHC Explains without detailed mathematics how the properties of matter and observational cosmology indicate that particles beyond the standard model must exist