The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter

The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter

5.0 1
by Helen R. Quinn, Yossi Nir, Rutu Modan
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691133093

ISBN-13: 9780691133096

Pub. Date: 12/17/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang lingers a question at the heart of our very existence: why does the universe contain matter but almost no antimatter? The laws of physics tell us that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were produced in the early universe—but then, something odd happened. Matter won out over antimatter; had it not, the

Overview

In the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang lingers a question at the heart of our very existence: why does the universe contain matter but almost no antimatter? The laws of physics tell us that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were produced in the early universe—but then, something odd happened. Matter won out over antimatter; had it not, the universe today would be dark and barren.

But how and when did this occur? Helen Quinn and Yossi Nir guide readers into the very heart of this mystery—and along the way offer an exhilarating grand tour of cutting-edge physics. They explain both the history of antimatter and recent advances in particle physics and cosmology. And they discuss the enormous, high-precision experiments that particle physicists are undertaking to test the laws of physics at their most fundamental levels—and how their results reveal tantalizing new possibilities for solving this puzzle at the heart of the cosmos.

The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter is at once a history of ideas and an exploration of modern science and the frontiers of human knowledge. This exciting, accessible book reveals how the interplay of theory and experimentation advances our understanding and redefines the questions we ask about our universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691133096
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/17/2007
Series:
Science Essentials Series
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1: Prelude: The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter 1

Chapter 2: Constant Physics in an Evolving Universe 7

Universal Laws 7

Hubble and the Expanding Universe 8

Red-shifts: Evidence for an Expanding Universe 12

Numbers Large and Small 17

What Do We Mean by "Universe"? 19

Chapter 3: As the Universe Expands 21

Running the Clock Forward: Radiation 21

Running the Clock Forward: Dark Matter 26

Running the Clock Forward: Light Nuclei 29

Running the Clock Forward: Matter and Antimatter 32

Chapter 4: What Is Antimatter? 36

What Is Matter? 36

Dirac Introduces Antimatter 42

Experiments Confirm That Antimatter Exists 45

Radioactive Decays of Nuclei 48

Chapter 5: Enter Neutrinos 51

Pauli: The Beta Decay Puzzle 51

Fermi: The Theory of Neutrinos Develops 53

Cowan and Reines: Neutrinos Detected 55

Chapter 6: Mesons 57

Yukawa and the Pi-Meson 57

Strange Mesons, Strange Quantum Concepts 61

Chapter 7: Through the Looking Glass 63

What Physicists Mean by the Term Symmetry 63

A Gedanken Experiment 64

The Actual Experiment 67

Chapter 8: Through the Looking Antiglass 73

Another Gedanken Experiment 73

Cronin and Fitch: Matter and Antimatter Do Not Follow the Same Laws 75

Chapter 9: The Survival of Matter 80

Pauli's Other Letter: Initial Conditions on the Universe 80

Sakharov: The Conditions Needed to Develop an Imbalance 84

Cosmology with Sakharov's Conditions Met: Baryogenesis 88

Chapter 10: Enter Quarks 91

Quarks 91

Why Don't We See the Quarks? 96

What about Dark Matter? 100

The Missing Charm, the Surprising Tau 101

The Standard Model: Particles and Interactions 107

Chapter 11: Energy Rules 111

Stored Energy, Forces, and Energy Conservation 111

Force Fields Permeating Space 114

Field Theory and the Energy Function 116

Chapter 12: Symmetry Rules 121

Symmetries as Answers to the Question "Why?" 121

Symmetries and Conservation Laws 123

Space-Time Symmetries 124

Gauge Symmetries 126

Discrete Symmetries 128

Baryon and Lepton Number Conservation? 130

Chapter 13: Standard Model Gauge Symmetries 132

The Symmetry behind the Electromagnetic Interaction 132

The Symmetry behind the Strong Interaction 134

The Symmetry behind the Weak Interaction 137

Chapter 14: A Missing Piece 140

The Puzzle of Particle Masses 140

How Do We Describe Nothing? 146

At Last, CP Violated in the Standard Model 153

Chapter 15: It Still Doesn't Work! 159

Running the Clock Forward: The Standard Model 159

Now What? 163

Chapter 16: Tools of the Trade 168

Accelerators 168

Detectors 172

Data Handling and Analysis 177

How Projects Develop 178

Chapter 17: Searching for Clues 180

Where Are We Now? 180

Testing the Standard Model in B-Meson Decays 182

Oddone: How to Build B Factories? 184

Running the B Factories: The First Test 190

Chapter 18: Speculations 194

Why Are We Never Satisfied? 194

Grand Unified Theories 195

Supersymmetry 201

Way beyond the Standard Model 204

Chapter 19: Neutrino Surprises 206

Davis, Bahcall, Koshiba: Solar Neutrinos 206

Quantum Neutrino Properties 214

Chapter 20: Following the New Clues 222

Some Things We Know 222

Some Things We Speculate About 225

Fitting It All Together 227

Chapter 21: Finale 231

Appendix: A Timeline of Particle Physics and Cosmology 233

Perspective 233

Relevant Nineteenth-Century Developments 234

1900-1930: Development of Quantum Ideas, Beginnings of

Scientific Cosmology 238

1930-1950: New Particles, New Ideas 245

1930-1960s: The Advent of Accelerator Experiments—The Particle Explosion; Implications of Expanding Universe Explored 249

1964-1973: Formulation of the Modern View of Particles and the

Universe 256

Two Standard Models Emerge—Particles and Cosmology 263

Index 273

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago