The first few copies of my new book, “Anomaly! – Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab” arrived this morning from Singapore. With pleasure, I was finally able to hold in my hand the result of a long work… It started in 2008, when the unfolding story of an intriguing multi-muon signal in CDF data had me first caress the idea of writing about two decades of investigations carried out by some of my colleagues in the experiment, in the relentless search of new physics.
The book is much more than that, of course – the project grew to become a history of the experiment, as well as an insider view on the sociology of a large particle physics collaboration. In the course of two years, between 2013 and 2015, I interviewed over 100 of my former colleagues, as well as other scientists who had a role in the story of some of the spurious signals that the experiment unearthed – and usually hushed up.
The book was 450 pages long when I first drafted it, but World Scientific would have none of that: they insisted for a leaner book, arguing that the cost would be too high otherwise. As the book is still pricey now that it is published with 304 pages of length, I wonder what a difference it would have made if I had kept the many stories I had to remove. In fact, I ended up not discussing the history of the original anomalous signal that surfaced in 2008: the book only tells the story of Run 0 and Run 1 of CDF, that is until a few years past the turn of the millennium. Run 2, to which the multi-muon signal belongs, will have to wait for a new book.
The 12 copies I received will now be sent to some of the colleagues and friends who most contributed to it. I very much wanted to offer a free copy to all those I interviewed, but that will not nearly be possible – the publisher is only going to send me a handful more. I guess I will have to recommend you to buy a copy at World Scientific. If you want to do it and save 20%, drop me a line and I’ll give you a special purchasing code.