Chapter

Stairway to Heaven

Gian Francesco Giudice

in A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199581917
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723001 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199581917.003.0005
Stairway to Heaven

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This chapter discusses the reasons why fundamental physics needs to explore the world at small distances. Modern research has discovered that the physical laws of nature become progressively simpler at small scales and that, at every step, apparently unrelated phenomena actually become unified into single concepts. This recursive formulation of natural phenomena in terms of ever simpler elements is called in this book ‘Jacob's ladder’. It is then explained why particle accelerators and colliders are needed for the investigation of the fundamental laws of nature. Finally, the chapter presents the applications and achievements of accelerators and detectors outside the field of particle physics.

Keywords: fundamental science; effective theories; particle accelerators; synchrotron radiation; colliders

Chapter.  6723 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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