Open access ebooks

Open access (OA) publishing is proving to be a very successful publishing model in the scholarly scientific field: today, more than 10,000 journals are accessible in OA, according to the Directory of Open Access Journals. Building on this positive experience, ebooks are also becoming available under this free-access scheme.

The economic model is largely inspired by the well-established practice in scientific article publishing, and several publishers have expanded their catalogues to include OA books. Under an appropriate licensing system, the authors retain copyright but the content can be freely shared and reused with appropriate author credit.

The ebooks system, in addition to expanding the diffusion of knowledge, overcomes the production and distribution costs of paper books that result in high prices for titles often acquired only by libraries. OA ebooks are also the ideal outlet for the publication of conference proceedings, maximising their visibility, and with great benefits for library budgets.

Five key works written or edited by CERN authors are already profiting from the impact that comes from their free dissemination.

Three of them are already accessible online:

• Melting Hadrons, Boiling Quarks – From Hagedorn Temperature to Ultra-Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collisions at CERN: With a Tribute to Rolf Hagedorn by Johann Rafelski (ed), published by Springer (

• 60 Years of CERN Experiments and Discoveries by Herwig Schopper and Luigi Di Lella (eds), published by World Scientific (

• The High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider: The New Machine for Illuminating the Mysteries of Universe by Lucio Rossi and Oliver Brüning (eds), published by World Scientific (

Two further OA titles will appear in 2016:

• The Standard Theory of Particle Physics: 60 Years of CERN by Luciano Maiani and Luigi Rolandi (eds), published by World Scientific.

• echnology Meets Research: 60 Years of Technological Achievements at CERN, Illustrated with Selected Highlights by Chris Fabjan, Thomas Taylor and Horst Wenninger (eds), published by World Scientific.

Members of the organising committee of a conference, looking for an OA outlet for the proceedings, and authors who are planning to publish a book, are invited to contact the CERN Library, so that the staff there can help them to negotiate conditions with potential publishers.

• Tullio Basaglia, CERN Library.

50 Years of Quarks
By Harald Fritzsch and Murray Gell-Mann (eds)
World Scientific
Also available at the CERN bookshop

This book was written on the occasion of the golden anniversary of a truly remarkable year in fundamental particle physics: 1964 saw the discovery of CP violation in the decays of neutral kaons, of the Ω baryon (at the Brookhaven National Laboratory), and of cosmic microwave background radiation. It marked the invention of the Brout–Englert–Higgs mechanism, and the introduction of a theory of quarks as fundamental constituents of strongly interacting particles.

Harald Fritzsch and Murray Gell-Mann, the two fathers of quantum chromodynamics, look back at the events that led to the discovery, and eventually acceptance, of quarks as constituent particles. Why should we look back at the 1960s? Besides the fact that it is always worthwhile to reminisce about those times when theoretical physicists were truly eclectic, these stories are the testimony of a very active era, in which theoretical and experimental discoveries rapidly chased one another. What is truly remarkable is that, even in the absence of an underlying theory, piecing together sets of disparate experimental hints, the high-energy physics community was always able to provide a consistent description of the observed particles and their interactions. In fact, it was general principles such as causality, unitarity and Lorentz invariance that allowed far-reaching insights into analyticity, dispersion relations, the CPT theorem and the relation between spin and statistics to be obtained.

In this volume, Fritzsch and Gell-Mann present a collection of contributions written by renowned physicists (including S J Brodsky, J Ellis, H Fritzsch, S L Glashow, M Kobayashi, L B Okun, S L Wu, G Zweig and many others) that led to crucial developments in particle theory. The individual contributions in the book range from technical manuscripts, lecture notes and articles written 50 years ago, to personal, anecdotal and autobiographical accounts of endeavours in particle physics, emphasising how they interwove with the conception and eventually acceptance of the quark hypothesis. The book conveys the enthusiasm and motivation of the scientists involved in this journey, their triumph in cases of success, their amazement in cases of surprises or difficulties, and their disappointment in cases of failures. One realises that while quantum chromodynamics seems a simple and natural theory today, not everything was as easy as it now looks, 50 years later. In fact, the paradoxical properties of quarks, imprisoned for life in hadrons, had no precedent in the history of physics.

The last 50 years has witnessed spectacular progress in the description of elementary constituents of matter and their fundamental interactions, with important discoveries that led to the establishment of the Standard Model of particle physics. This theory accurately describes all observable matter, namely quarks and leptons, and their interactions at colliders through the electromagnetic, weak and strong force. Yet many open questions remain that are beyond the reach of our current understanding of the laws of physics. Of central importance now is the understanding of the composition of our universe, the dark matter and dark energy, the hierarchy of masses and forces, and a consistent quantum framework of unification of all forces of nature, including gravity. The closing contributions of the book put this venture in the context of today’s high-energy physics programme, and make a connection to the most popular ideas in high-energy physics today, including supersymmetry, unification and string theory.

• Giulia Zanderighi, CERN.

Theoretical Foundations of Synchrotron and Storage Ring RF Systems
By Harald Klingbeil, Ulrich Laier, and Dieter Lens
Also available at the CERN bookshop

This book is one of few, if not the only one, dedicated to radiofrequency (RF) accelerator systems and longitudinal dynamics in synchrotrons, providing a self-contained and clear theoretical introduction to the subject. Some of these topics can be found in separate articles of specialised schools, but not in such a comprehensive form in a single source. The content of the book is based on a university course and it is addressed to graduate students who want to study accelerator physics and engineering.

After a short introduction on accelerators, the second chapter provides a concise but complete overview of the mathematical-physics tools that are required in the following chapters, such as Fourier analysis and Laplace transform. Ordinary differential equations and the basics of non-linear dynamics are presented with the notions of phase space, phase flow and velocity vector fields, leading naturally to the continuity equation and to the Liouville theorem. Hamiltonian systems are elegantly introduced, and the mathematical pendulum as well as a LC circuit are used as examples. This second chapter provides the necessary background for any engineer or physicist willing to enter the field of accelerator physics. The basic formulas and concepts of electromagnetism and special relativity are briefly recalled. The text is completed by a useful set of tables and diagrams in the appendix. An extensive set of references is given, although a non-negligible number are in German and might not be of help for the English-speaking reader. This feature is also found in other chapters.

In the third chapter, the longitudinal dynamics in synchrotrons is detailed. The basic equations and formulas describing synchrotron motion, bunch and bucket parameters are derived step-by-step, confirming the educational vocation of the book. The examples of a ramp and of multicavity operation are sketched out. I would have further developed the evolution of the RF parameters in a ramp using one of the GSI accelerators as a more concrete numerical example.

In the fourth chapter, the two most common types of RF cavities (ferrite-loaded and pillbox) are discussed in detail (in particular, the ferrite-loaded ones used in low- and medium-energy accelerators), providing detailed derivations of the various parameters and completing them with two examples referring to two specific applications.

The fifth chapter contains an interesting and thorough discussion on the theoretical description of beam manipulation in synchrotrons, with particular emphasis on the notion of adiabaticity, which is critical for emittance preservation in operation with high-brightness beams. This concept is normally dealt with in a qualitative way, while in this book a more solid background, derived from classical Hamiltonian mechanics, is provided. In the second part of the chapter, after an introduction to the description of a bunch by means of moments, including the concept of RMS emittance, a description of longitudinal bunch oscillations and their spectral representation is given, providing the basis for the study of longitudinal beam stability. This is not addressed in the book, and the notion of impedance is briefly introduced in the case of space charge, while some references covering these subjects are provided.

The last two chapters are devoted to the engineering aspects of RF accelerator systems: power amplifiers and closed-loop controls. The chapter on power amplifiers is mainly focused on the solutions of interest for low- and medium-energy synchrotrons, whereas high-frequency narrowband power amplifiers like klystrons are very briefly discussed. The chapter on low-level RF is rather dense but still clearly written, and is built around a specific example of an amplitude control loop. That eases the understanding of concepts and criteria underlying feedback stability and the impact of time delays and disturbances. The necessary mathematical tools are presented with a due level of detail, before delving into the stability criteria and into a discussion of the chosen example.

The volume is completed by a rich appendix summarising basic concepts and formulas required elsewhere in the book (e.g. some notions of transverse beam dynamics and the characterisation of fixed points) or working out in detail some examples of subjects treated in the main text. Some handy recalls of calculus and algebra are also provided.

This book undoubtedly fills a gap in the panorama of textbooks dedicated to accelerator physics. I would recommend it to any physicist or engineer entering the field. I enjoyed reading it as a comprehensive and clear introduction to some aspects of accelerator RF engineering, as well as to some of the theoretical foundations of accelerator physics and, in general, of classical mechanics.

• Gianluigi Arduini, CERN.

Books received

Holograms: A Cultural History
By Sean F Johnston
Oxford University Press


The book is a sort of biography of holograms, peculiar optical "objects" that have crossed the border of science to enter other cultural and anthropological fields, such as art, visual technology, pop culture, magic and illusion. No other visual experience is like interacting with holograms – they have the power to fascinate and amuse people. Not only physicists and engineers, but also artists, hippies, hobbyists and illusionists have played with, and dreamed about, holograms.

This volume can be considered as complementary to a previous book by the same author, a professor at the University of Glasgow, called Holographic Visions: A History of New Science. While the first book gave an account of the scientific concepts behind holography, and of its development as a research subject and engineering tool, the present text focuses on the impact that holography has had on society and consumers of such technology.

The author explores how holograms found a place in distinct cultural settings, moving from being expressions of modernity to countercultural art means, from encoding tools for security to vehicles for mystery.

Clearly written and full of interesting factual information, this book is addressed to historians and sociologists of modern science and technology, as well as to enthusiasts who are interested in understanding the journey of this fascinating optical medium.

Resummation and Renormalization in Effective Theories of Particle Physics
By Antal Jakovác and András Patkós

Jakovac, Patkos

The book re-collects notes written by the authors for a course on finite-temperature quantum fields, and more specifically on the application of effective models of strong and electroweak interactions in particle-physics phenomenology.

The topics selected reflect the research interests of the authors, nevertheless in their opinion, the material covered in the volume can help students of master’s degrees in physics to improve their ability to deal with reorganisations of the perturbation series of renormalisable theories.

The book is made up of eight chapters and is organised in four parts. An historic overview of effective theories (which are scientific theories that propose to model certain effects without proposing to adequately model their causes) opens the text, then two chapters provide the basics of quantum field theory necessary for following the directions of contemporary research. The third part introduces three different and widely used approaches to improving convergence properties of renormalised perturbation theory. Finally, results that emerge from the application of these techniques to the thermodynamics of strong and electroweak interactions are reviewed in the last two chapters.

Laser Experiments for Chemistry and Physics
By R N Compton and M A Duncan
Oxford University Press

Compton, Duncan

The book provides an introduction to the characteristics and operation of lasers through laboratory experiments for undergraduate students in physics and chemistry.

After a first section reviewing the properties of light, the history of laser invention, the atomic, molecular and optical principles behind how lasers work, as well as the kinds of lasers that are available today, the text presents a rich set of experiments on various topics: thermodynamics, chemical analysis, quantum chemistry, spectroscopy and kinetics.

Each chapter gives the historical and theoretical background to the topics covered by the experiments, and variations to the prescribed activities are suggested.

Both of the authors began their research careers at the time when laser technology was taking off, and witnessed advances in the development and application of this new technology to many fields. In this book they aim to pass on some of their experience to new students, and to stimulate practical activities in optics and lasers courses.