Present at the Creation

Discovering the Higgs Boson

Publisher: Broadway Books

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the biggest, and by far the most powerful, machine ever built. A project of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, its audacious purpose is to re-create, in a 16.5-mile-long circular tunnel under the French-Swiss countryside, the immensely hot and dense conditions that existed some 13.7 billion years ago within the first trillionth of a second after the fiery birth of our universe.

In Present at the Creation, Amir D. Aczel takes us inside the control rooms, as an international team of researchers begins to discover whether a multibillion-euro investment will fulfill its promise: to find empirical confirmation of theories in physics and cosmology. Through the eyes and words of the men and women who conceived and built CERN and the LHC, Aczel enriches all of us with a firm grounding in the scientific concepts necessary to appreciate fully the stunning July 4, 2012 discovery of the Higgs Boson. Newly updated in the wake of the discovery, Present at the Creation tells the story of perhaps the greatest experiment in the history of science.


Chapter 1

The Exploding Protons

During a number of milestone events in the recent history of our planet, Stefano Redaelli, a tall, thin, bearded thirty-three-year-old particle physicist from Milan with keen eyes and an easy smile, has been at the controls. Some would even say that on these occasions, when the...
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"A fascinating discussion of research at the cutting-edge of physics."--Arthur I. Miller, author of Deciphering the Cosmic Number

From the Hardcover edition.