Tunnel Visions: The Rise And Fall Of The Superconducting Super Collider by Michael RiordanTunnel Visions: The Rise And Fall Of The Superconducting Super Collider by Michael Riordan

Tunnel Visions: The Rise And Fall Of The Superconducting Super Collider

byMichael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne W. Kolb

Hardcover | November 20, 2015

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Starting in the 1950s, US physicists dominated the search for elementary particles; aided by the association of this research with national security, they held this position for decades. In an effort to maintain their hegemony and track down the elusive Higgs boson, they convinced President Reagan and Congress to support construction of the multibillion-dollar Superconducting Super Collider project in Texas—the largest basic-science project ever attempted. But after the Cold War ended and the estimated SSC cost surpassed ten billion dollars, Congress terminated the project in October 1993.
Drawing on extensive archival research, contemporaneous press accounts, and over one hundred interviews with scientists, engineers, government officials, and others involved, Tunnel Visions tells the riveting story of the aborted SSC project. The authors examine the complex, interrelated causes for its demise, including problems of large-project management, continuing cost overruns, and lack of foreign contributions. In doing so, they ask whether Big Science has become too large and expensive, including whether academic scientists and their government overseers can effectively manage such an enormous undertaking.
Michael Riordan, a physicist and science historian, is author of The Hunting of the Quark and coauthor of Crystal Fire. Lillian Hoddeson, the Thomas Siebel Professor Emerita of the History of Science at the University of Illinois, is coauthor of Crystal Fire, Critical Assembly, True Genius, and Fermilab: Physics, the Frontier, and Mega...
Title:Tunnel Visions: The Rise And Fall Of The Superconducting Super ColliderFormat:HardcoverDimensions:480 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:November 20, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022629479X

ISBN - 13:9780226294797

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1  Origins of the Super Collider
Chapter 2  A New Frontier Outpost, 1983–88
Chapter 3  Selling the Super Collider, 1983–88
Chapter 4  Settling in Texas, 1989–91
Chapter 5  Washington and the World, 1989–92
Chapter 6  The Demise of the SSC, 1991–1994
Chapter 7  Reactions, Recovery, and Analysis

Epilogue  The Higgs Boson Discovery

Appendix 1. Physics at the TeV Energy Scale
Appendix 2. List of Interviews


Editorial Reviews

"As Riordan, Hoddeson, and Kolb convincingly argue, changing political priorities, poor management, and budgetary problems led to the demise of the SSC. Drawing on over one hundred oral history interviews, extensive archival materials, and government documents, the authors’ analysis of this failure in 'Big Science' fills an important gap in the existing literature—rarely do historians delve with such depth into unsuccessful (and expensive!) projects."