“Beyond the Borders of the Lab”
Charmed Particles: a Novel about the Search for a Site for the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC)
(European NetIAS Lecture Series)
In this talk, originally delivered on Thursday, November 5, 2020, I discuss the role of borders in “Big Science.” I’ll share excerpts from my novel Charmed Particles and discuss the research I conducted in preparation for writing it. As part of my background research for the book, I worked in the archives at Fermilab (one of the sites under consideration for the SSC), interviewed theoretical particle physicists working at Fermilab at the time of the SSC proposal, and combed through Environmental Impact Statements and transcripts of public hearings to bring voice to both sides of the conflict over the push, in the late 1980s, to find a location in the United States for the proposed (but never completed) Superconducting Super Collider (SSC).