Relating the story of the transatlantic struggle for subnuclear domination, The Quark Machines: How Europe Fought the Particle Physics War, Second Edition covers the history, the politics, and the personalities of particle physics. Extensively illustrated with many original photographs of the key players in the field, the book sheds new light on the sovereignty issues of modern scientific research as well as the insights it has produced.
Throughout the twentieth century, Europe and the United States have vied for supremacy of subnuclear physics. Initially, the advent of World War II and an enforced exodus of scientific talent from Europe boosted American efforts. Then, buoyed along by the need to develop the bomb and the ensuing distrust of the Cold War, the United States vaulted into a commanding role-a position it retained for almost fifty years. Throughout this period, each new particle accelerator was a major campaign, each new particle a battle won.
With the end of the Cold War, U.S. preeminence evaporated and Europe retook the advantage. Now CERN, for four decades the spearhead of the European fightback, stands as the leading global particle physics center. Today, particle physics is at a turning point in its history-how well Europe retains its advantage remains to be seen.
"Fraser gives us an impressionist picture of some of the key people, ideas, and tools that contributed to the Standard Model with bright splotches of colour spread over a broad range of space and time on the backdrop of the major historical events of this century."
-History of Physics Newsletter
"… a careful and fascinating account of particle physics in the 20th Century."
-Christine Sutton, New Scientist
"An account worth having for its record of how the struggle for dominance in fundamental physics looked from the European side. This is a story which includes many of the great moments of 20th-century science."
-The Financial Times
"Fraser presents the history of particle physics from a refreshingly new perspective-that of the machine builders."
-Michael Riordan, CERN Courier
"Fraser shows unusual skill in finding vivid analogies that capture physical pictures without distorting them. In many ways this book complements Abraham Pais' 'Inward Bound.'"
-Gary Feldman, Physics World