The Theory of Almost Everything: The Standard Model, the Unsung Triumph of Modern Physics

Overview

There are two scientific theories that, taken together, explain the entire universe. The first, which describes the force of gravity, is widely known: Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. But the theory that explains everything else—the Standard Model of Elementary Particles—is virtually unknown among the general public.

In The Theory of Almost Everything, Robert Oerter shows how what were once thought to be separate forces of nature were combined into a single theory by ...

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The Theory of Almost Everything: The Standard Model, the Unsung Triumph of Modern Physics

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Overview

There are two scientific theories that, taken together, explain the entire universe. The first, which describes the force of gravity, is widely known: Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. But the theory that explains everything else—the Standard Model of Elementary Particles—is virtually unknown among the general public.

In The Theory of Almost Everything, Robert Oerter shows how what were once thought to be separate forces of nature were combined into a single theory by some of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. Rich with accessible analogies and lucid prose, The Theory of Almost Everything celebrates a heretofore unsung achievement in human knowledge—and reveals the sublime structure that underlies the world as we know it.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Forget string theory. Physics professor Dr. Robert Oerter thinks that the next big step in physics will build on the tested Standard Model of Elementary Particles; not on some trendy, unconfirmed hypothesis. In this accessible book, he explains how "the theory of almost everything" has evolved and where it is heading next.
Library Journal
Oerter (physics, George Mason Univ.) has written an accessible guide to the standard model, a theory of all known physical interactions, excluding gravity. Theories that support and influence this model, such as special relativity, quantum mechanics, and quantum electrodynamics, are discussed in detail; readers will be able to follow the author's transitions between theories and building of complex ideas. Descriptions of recent experiments and concepts that may influence the standard model complete the book. An index, a short bibliography of annotated sources for further reading, numerous illustrations and figures, and multiple appendixes that expound on textual matter are also included. Other titles that provide background to Oerter's work are Tian Yu Cao's Conceptual Developments of 20th Century Field Theories and W. Noel Cottingham and Derek A. Greenwood's An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics. On its own, however, Oerter's text is accessible to scientists and lay readers alike. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.-Elizabeth Brown, Binghamton Univ. Libs., NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452287860
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/26/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 515,605
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Oerter teaches physics at George Mason University. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland, and has also taught at Howard University. He lives in Maryland.

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Table of Contents

1 The first unifications 13
2 Einstein's relativity and Noether's theorem 29
3 The end of the world as we know it 49
4 (Im)probabilities 73
5 The bizarre reality of QED 93
6 Feynman's particles, Schwinger's fields 121
7 Welcome to the subatomic zoo 135
8 The color of quarks 155
9 The weakest link 187
10 The standard model, at last 203
11 The edge of physics 219
12 New dimensions 243
App. A Quarks and the eightfold way 279
App. B Asymptotic freedom 285
App. C Interactions of the standard model 289
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2009

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    Eeasy to Understand

    I am neither a scientist nor a physicist. In fact, I have almost no background in science at all. What I am is curious about a broad range of topics and love to read. I found this book to be just what I needed in the area of physics. It is perfect for the layman who would like a very clear and uncomplicated explanation of the topic without being bogged down in science-speak or incomprehensible forumulas. If that is you, then this is your book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    A reviewer

    I had a semester of field theory and a semester of intro to particles in graduate school, but I was never given such and broad overview of why field theory was so important and what it really gave us. This book presents this broad overview at a surprisingly readable level. Few equations and few technical details, this book is something almost anyone can pick up and read. While you may stop to think about some idea, you will not be tripped up by equations or discontinuities of thought. This really is a very readable book, something you can pick up and read in a few days with that very gratifying mental click of things suddenly fitting into place.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

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    Physics are explained easily and thoroughly.

    In The Theory Of Almost Everything,Professor Robert Oerter explains things such as how deep time is,featuring quotes by famous physicists such as Richard Feynman. A must read for anyone who wants a textbook explanation of physics made simple,with diagrams and simple explanations of how they work.

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