For me, it was love at first sight. The year was 1974. The place was Berkeley California. The Bevalac had me at hello. I had discovered my first, but not my last, particle accelerator. The Berkeley romance was followed by more than three decades of intriguing, wide-ranging exploration (mostly of a historical nature), right up to my most recent work on the history of Fermilab.

This beautiful and interesting book is an accelerator fan’s dream. The range of subject matter is impressive. The book covers a splendid array of devices from the electrostatic accelerators of the 1930s to the colliders, synchrotron radiation sources, and detectors of the present. Although accelerators take center stage, this is not just a book about machines: the text is chock-full of biographical sketches of the men and women who designed, built, and improved these engines of discovery.

But this book is not just for the...

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