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Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos

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Overview

Lincoln, a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, helps explain, as the foreword writer (a theoretical cosmologist) puts it: "...what compels scientists to work for years on the world's most complicated experiments...." After declaring physics the most interesting science and overviewing its scope for a general audience, he traces the history of what is known/theorized in the field up to "exotic physics" (i.e., the next frontier). Chapters begin with quotes and include down-to-earth explanations. The volume concludes with technical appendices and a glossary. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Lincoln is a physicist and the collaborating author on numerous research papers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), where he investigates high-energy particles. A veteran of many popular talks on physics, he charmingly relates the tale of humankind's almost insatiable curiosity about the ultimate nature of nature and the quest to determine the basic particles of matter. His style is engaging and obviously directed to informed lay readers, but the more scientifically minded will find it equally appealing. Still, at over 500 pages, it is not light reading. If digested with the notion that this topic is presented in a broad swath, both historically and scientifically, and not meant to be definitive, the work offers readers an appreciation of the investigative procedure, the accumulated body of research, and the people who did the investigating. Recommended for public and academic collections. Margaret F. Dominy, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789812387035
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/7/2004
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Preface xiii
Acknowledgements xxiii
1. Early History 1
2. The Path to Knowledge (History of Particle Physics) 22
3. Quarks and Leptons 107
4. Forces: What Holds It All Together 147
5. Hunting for the Higgs 209
6. Accelerators and Detectors: Tools of the Trade 248
7. Near Term Mysteries 315
8. Exotic Physics (The Next Frontier) 383
9. Recreating the Universe 10,000,000 Times a Second 444
10. Epilogue: Why Do We Do It? 487
Appendix A Greek Symbols 492
Appendix B Scientific Jargon 493
Appendix C Particle-Naming Rules 496
Appendix D Essential Relativity and Quantum Mechanics 501
Appendix E Higgs Boson Production 513
Appendix F Neutrino Oscillations 519
Further Reading 525
Glossary 535
Index 557
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    A reviewer

    A wonderful book. Brilliant, engaging descriptions abound from cover to cover. The amount of learning is tremendous, and the style, layout, and flow have perfect timing. It is a very accessible introduction to Particle Physics understanding for novice science want-a-bees like me, but I'm absolutely positive it would make a exemplary text for high-school and early college students. Don Lincoln explains brilliantly our current cutting-edge knowledge, but while doing so, he adroitly describes, with much humor and anecdote, how we know it 'the nuts and bolts', making the learning feel more real, and a lot more fun. His descriptions of, and enthusiasm for, the tools of physics 'the accelerators and experiments' and the excitement of discovery, are quite infectious. I find that his down-to-earth, humorous analogies relating English and visuals to math were of the greatest benefit to me. There¿s a heck of a lot of great humor all along the way. And that makes you smile a lot. And laugh a lot. And that makes it a lot easier to learn a lot!!! Very pleasant and entertaining to read. There is an appeal to the anti-scientific-research hecklers in the epilogue that managed to give me goose bumps (ala Sagan and Dawkins). I had a tremendous amount of fun reading it. I do Understand the Universe much, much better now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

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