The Large Hadron Collider: Harvest of Run 1

15 January 2016

By Thomas Schörner-Sadenius (ed.)


On the verge of obtaining new results from the first year of Run 2 of the LHC, a book summarising the results from Run 1 is highly anticipated.

The impressive effort needed to write such an overview must be acknowledged. The LHC experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, and TOTEM) have published more than 1000 results from Run 1, and producing a comprehensive review of them while ensuring that the book remains accessible to young researchers is a demanding task that requires careful editorial work. This seems to have been the intention of the authors, which in my opinion has been accomplished.

Individual chapters are written by teams of well-recognised experts working in each specific field. The book starts with a short historical overview, describing the development of the LHC project – three-decades long – from first ideas to its realisation. The reader will find an interesting summary of the difficult financial situation the LHC had to confront, while receiving harsh competition from similar accelerator projects (UNK, SSC).

Clearly, the legacy of Run 1 is marked by the discovery of the Higgs boson, therefore a long and interesting chapter is dedicated to a description of its discovery and, later on, to the measurement of its properties, but the volume shows the impact of the LHC results on all of the different fronts of high-energy physics. The interplay between recent theory developments and experimental results is clearly presented. Furthermore, each physics chapter is introduced by a short theoretical summary, showing the pedagogical intention of the authors. Results are often contextualised by comparing them with the current status of each topic and by showing perspectives for future improved results.

Besides allowing senior researchers to quickly scan through the plethora of LHC results, the book will be particularly useful for young researchers trying to familiarise themselves with certain aspects of LHC physics. It stimulates further reading and gives a long list of references at the end of each chapter – in my opinion, this is a main bonus of the book.

Although the results from Run 1 at the LHC are destined to be quickly outdated by new results from Run 2, I believe that this book could serve for several years as initial reading for any physicist when first confronted with LHC physics, thanks to the historical and pedagogical point of view adopted.

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