Fermilab: Physics, the Frontier, and Megascience

Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne W. Kolb, Catherine Westfall

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, has stood at the frontier of high-energy physics for forty years. This book is the first history of this laboratory and of its powerful accelerators told from the point of view of the people who built and used them for scientific discovery. Focusing on the first two decades of research at Fermilab, during the tenure of the laboratory's charismatic first two directors, Robert R. Wilson and Leon M. Lederman, the book traces the rise of what they call “megascience”, the collaborative struggle to conduct large-scale international experiments in a climate of limited federal funding. In the midst of this new climate, this book illuminates the growth of the modern research laboratory during the Cold War and captures the drama of human exploration at the cutting edge of science.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Number of pages520
ISBN (Electronic)9780226346250
ISBN (Print)9780226346243, 9780226346236
StatePublished - 2008


  • Fermilab
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Chicago
  • high-energy physics
  • accelerators
  • Robert R Wilson
  • Leon M Lederman
  • megascience
  • research laboratory
  • Cold War


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