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    I Am Writing A Book
    By Tommaso Dorigo | December 4th 2013 08:29 AM | 8 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

    View Tommaso's Profile
    Inspired by my friend Peter Woit's openness in discussing his work in progress (a thick textbook on the foundations of quantum mechanics), I feel compelled to come out here about my own project.

    I have been writing a book on the history of the CDF experiment and the anomalies that we unearthed (and sometimes re-buried) in the course of thirty exciting and eventful years. The book is aimed at laypersons, and the level of the discussion of the physics is not different to the one within which I usually stay when I write about physics in this blog. Also, since I am well aware that reading physics is a very demanding task for outsiders, I am trying to not only discuss the physics, but also the sociology of life in a big (but not enormous like CMS and ATLAS) experiment.

    The stories I tell are written to entertain the reader -or at least I try to do that. I have been interviewing my CDF colleagues to try and reconstruct anecdotes, incidents, funny exchanges. I often use the direct dialogue, when I believe I can manage to reconstruct the actual conversations that took place in the discussion of a physics result at a meeting, or during a coffee break in the CDF trailers.

    Whether I will succeed in making this a fun book to read it's going to be seen. What is harder for me is to be as objective as possible when I discuss some controversial physics topics. That is also part of the reason why I have been talking to so many of my old colleagues - 45 of them so far, and counting.

    So, there. If you are now asking yourself how can you help, there are two options. One is if you have been a member of CDF (or also D0 - in some cases the colleagues around the ring know stories that are quite tightly related to those that occurred in CDF and which I am dealing with); in that case you are very welcome if you provide me with anecdotes and material I might be unaware of. The other is if you know an agent in the US who could be interested to promote my book. I am not yet at the stage where I will actively look for agents, but I am getting close - the book is almost finished (well, it's been like that for a while now, but this time I mean it!).

    And of course, if you are only an interested outsider, you can make a note to yourself to pre-order the book once the time comes!

    Comments

    Looking forward to reading it!

    Hfarmer
    Wow.  I hope it all goes well for you.  
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    I think your project is an academically important task that definitely should be done, and should be of use not just to interested layperson readers, and colleagues, but also sociologists and science historians etc. So good idea. I have no experience with agents, but perhaps start with some major textbook publishers like http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/accountmanagerlocator for your university, and that person should know.

    I hope that your book comes out soon
    and
    that it includes Melissa Franklin's famous Trigger Meeting Wish.

    Tony

    dorigo
    Hey Tony,
    hushhh... :-) Your wishes do have a chance to come true!
    Cheers,
    T.
    miles
    Also, since I am well aware that reading physics is a very demanding task for outsiders, I am trying to not only discuss the physics, but also the sociology of life in a big (but not enormous like CMS and ATLAS) experiment. 
    This must be interesting. Sure it will turn out the way you wanted it to be.

    Looking forward to it.. wishing you the best


    Good luck with this important work!

    Hi Tomasso,

    Sadly I do not know any publishers.

    However, I would like to suggest that you consider contacting Terence Tao at UCLA.

    He blogs on wordpress: terrytao.wordpress.com

    This Fields medal winner in ergodic theory is as patient as you in answering my questions.

    He has published many books on mathematics and one based upon his blog "Structure and Randomness".

    Best wishes for you and your book.