Inside ATLAS

25 February 2008


The opening page of one of the book chapters

"I saw your photos and they're really good. Can you do a book?" When Claudia Marcelloni agreed to Markus Nordberg's request one-and-a-half years ago, she had no idea how difficult producing a book on the ATLAS experiment would be.

The book was Marzio Nessi's idea - he recognised the quality and humanity in Claudia's photographs of the construction and installation work in the cavern. He suggested a book to say 'thank you' to the people of ATLAS. "He wanted a book to make each member of the collaboration feel proud and say: 'I was there!'," says Claudia. Markus enthusiastically added his backing to the project. But deciding to produce a book is just the first stage in the process, Claudia says.

"It was very, very hard to figure out what the book actually was going to be," she says. "If you don't work out a good structure from the beginning, you're going to struggle for the rest of the project." With a collaboration the size of ATLAS, there are so many aspects to cover as well as different visions of how the project should be represented in a book. Claudia sums up the conflicting interests: "I was asked to produce a text book that should be precise, but elaborated with beautiful pictures of the installation, as well as having some artistic features to it, making sure not to forget anyone - represent all the countries, languages, religions, and touch on everybody's work. That's what I had to do!"

But once the structure was in place, the book became easier to produce, says Claudia. With the help of writer Kerry-Jane Lowery, designers Fabienne Marcastel and Andre-Pierre Olivier, and editors Ken Smith and Neal Hartman, the book took shape. Claudia also wishes to thank Heinz Pernegger and Manuela Cirilli for their role as physics consultants on the photographs and text, respectively.

"The challenge made me fall in love with the project," she says. "And I felt the passion of other people in ATLAS. A lot of people are really passionate about this project - it's great!"

That passion will come across in the book, thinks Claudia. "I can get a little piece of 20 years of this person's life and take a photo of it," she says. "There is one photo of Marzio looking at the first toroid coming down into the cavern and its wonderful. He's like a kid at Christmas, mouth wide open - 'Wow! It's started!' - it's a beautiful image."

The book is almost finished now, says Claudia, thanks to the work of writer Kerry-Jane Lowery, . "We are currently producing the last chapter and trying to solve a few problems and tricky chapters such as the Trigger/DAQ," she says. "Their work is amazing, but go try to photograph it!" The book then needs to be reviewed and proof read, and the photographs to be checked for copyright.

The ATLAS book that is designed to say 'thank you' to all members of the publication should be ready for publication later in the year.

Critsina Jimenez


Colin Barras