The Particle Odyssey: A Journey to the Heart of Matter

The Particle Odyssey: A Journey to the Heart of Matter

by Frank Close, Michael Marten, Christine Sutton
     
 

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During the 20th century, scientists discovered what the Universe is made of; as the 21st century begins, they are preparing experiments to find out how it came to be like this. This great adventure, which will involve a metaphorical journey back in time to within a billionth of a second of the Big Bang, is the latest stage in the quest to understand the nature of the

Overview

During the 20th century, scientists discovered what the Universe is made of; as the 21st century begins, they are preparing experiments to find out how it came to be like this. This great adventure, which will involve a metaphorical journey back in time to within a billionth of a second of the Big Bang, is the latest stage in the quest to understand the nature of the matter that makes our Universe and the forces that govern it. The Particle Odyssey takes the reader on a spectacularly illustrated journey to the heart of matter. In clear, non-technical language the authors describe the key experiments and fundamental discoveries which have led to our current understanding of the origins and nature of the material universe. In this fascinating book, you will find individual 'portraits' of all the major subatomic particles, from the electron to the top quark. The authors describe the history of experimental particle physics: its origins in the discovery of X-rays in 1895; the dissection of the atom by Rutherford and others; the unexpected revelations of the cosmic rays; the explosion of new particles in the 1950s and 60s; the discovery of quarks and the rise of the 'standard model' in the last part of the 20th century. And they also look at the great challenges that face physicists today—where did antimatter go? what is dark matter? can there be a theory of everything?—and the experiments they are devising to explore them. The Particle Odyssey brings together and presents with style over 100 of the best images of particle 'events': mysterious, abstract, beautiful pictures of the tracks of subatomic particles as they speed, curve, dance, or explode through cloud and bubble chambers, stacks of photographic emulsion, and the giant multi-element detectors of modern experiments. Here are spiralling electrons, the tell-tale 'vees' of strange particles, matter and antimatter born from raw energy, energetic jets of particles spraying out from the decay points of quarks and gluons. A further 250 pictures, many taken specially for this book, illustrate the laboratories, experiments, and personalities of over a century of particle physics. This superb book is a testament to the work of 'big' science and one of the great detective stories of our age.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Succeeds in providing readers with an overview of the historical development of particle physics and an appreciation of the exciting ideas that drive current research. No book better captures the visual and intellectual sweep of a century of particle physics."—American Scientist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191647444
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
08/26/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
23 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Professor Frank Close, OBE is a particle physicist and broadcaster. He spent several years working at CERN, home to the largest particle accelerator in the world. He is the author of a number of popular science books, including Too Hot to Handle and Lucifer's Legacy (OUP 2000). Michael Marten is Founder and Director of the Science Photo Library, and author of a number of illustrated books, including The New Astronomy (CUP 2000). Dr Christine Sutton is a physicist and broadcaster, based at Oxford University. She is on the board of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2001 was awarded the European Physical Society's first Outreach Award .

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