LHC, Particles Books

The Large Hadron Collider

Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe

Martin Beech, CENTRAL 539.7376 B4143L 2010

LHC is one of my favorite machines; micrometer precision at kilometer scale, at 0.999999991 of the speed of light. The stored proton energy is a tiny fraction of a launch loop rotor, but in most other ways it far exceeds the necessary precision, drag, and control accuracy necessary for a launch loop or power loop ambit. Launch loops could use superconducting magnets, but the expense and risk is unnecessary for the ambits, ordinary iron and copper electromagnets will suffice for a 1.5 Tesla deflection field. 4 Tesla high field superconducting magnets for the vertical deflectors could reduce the ocean depth of those magnets from hundreds to tens of meters.

The Beech book was written soon after the 2008 September 10 turnon and the September 19 sector 3-4 magnet quench, which vented 1000 kg of helium and delayed restart until 2010, with full power operation (and full magnet field strength) delayed until 2011. Thus, most of the story, and the detection of the Higgs, occured after this book went to press. So most of the book is about related physics.

. The project does not use the graphics coprocessor (GPU), which would be more energy efficient.

Particle Physics

A Very Short Introduction

Frank Close, Central 539.72 C645pp 2004

This is a startlingly well written book, and provides explanations of the standard model and the evolution of particle detectors. I would love to find a 2019 version of it, updated by the successful operation of the Large Hadron Collider, the Higgs discovery, and the lack of higher energy discoveries supporting the notion of supersymmetry, dark matter, axions, etc. etc.

Our models of the very early universe assume cosmic inflation and other postulations to flatten things out, as well as dark matter to explain deuterium abundance. Perhaps the early universe was far more chaotic than this. Symmetries lead to the Higgs field hypothesis, and the 125 GeV signal that is attributed to the Higgs.

However, our models of the universe are mostly built from observations through a murky atmosphere, deep in the Earth and Sun gravity wells, with a handful of "small" sensors in space. When we build vast observatories in solar orbit, and someday far from the Sun, we may capture some weak "anomalous" signals incompatible with our elaborate models and their associated unobservables.

Without data, medieval cartographers drew mermaids and sea monsters in the blank areas of their maps, because their patrons weren't paying for blank paper. I wonder if SUSY and the hypothetical dark matter zoo are the sea serpents of our age, just as the ether and phlogiston were the sea serpents of the 19th and 18th centuries.

Lets put some of the theorists to work designing clever space probes, and measure the universe in new and different ways; if we strive to be surprised, we will be ready to listen to nature again.

LHC (last edited 2019-01-03 21:52:59 by KeithLofstrom)