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Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos Revised ed. Edition

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Product details

  • ASIN : 9814374458
  • Language: : English
  • ISBN-10 : 9789814374453
  • ISBN-13 : 978-9814374453
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Description

The Big Bang, the birth of the universe, was a singular event. All of the matter of the universe was concentrated at a single point, with temperatures so high that even the familiar protons and neutrons of atoms did not yet exist, but rather were replaced by a swirling maelstrom of energy, matter and antimatter. Exotic quarks and leptons flickered briefly into existence, before merging back into the energy sea.This book explains the fascinating world of quarks and leptons and the forces that govern their behavior. Told from an experimental physicist’s perspective, it forgoes mathematical complexity, using instead particularly accessible figures and apt analogies. In addition to the story of quarks and leptons, which are regarded as well-accepted fact, the author (who is a leading researcher at one of the world’s highest energy particle physics laboratories) also discusses mysteries at both the experimental and theoretical frontiers, before tying it all together with the exciting field of cosmology and indeed the birth of the universe itself.The text spans the tiny world of the quark to the depths of the universe with breathtaking clarity. The casual student of science will appreciate the careful distinction between what is known (quarks, leptons and antimatter), what is suspected (Higgs bosons, neutrino oscillations and the reason why the universe has so little antimatter) and what is merely dreamed (supersymmetry, superstrings and extra dimensions). Included is an unprecedented chapter explaining the accelerators and detectors of modern particle physics experiments. The chapter discussing the hunt for the Higgs boson — currently consuming the efforts of nearly 6000 physicists — reveals drama that only big-stakes science can give. Understanding the Universe leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of the fascinating particle realm and reverence for just how much it determines the rich beauty of our universe.Since the release of the first edition, the landscape has changed. The venerable Fermilab Tevatron has ceased operations after a quarter century of extraordinary performance, to be replaced by the CERN Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator with a design energy of seven times greater than the Tevatron and a collision rate of nearly a billion collisions per second. The next few years promise to be very exciting as scientists explore this new realm. This revised edition of Understanding the Universe will leave the reader with a deep appreciation of just why physicists are so excited.

Editorial Reviews

Review

A veteran of many popular talks on physics, (Lincoln) 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. — Library Journal “Library Journal”

Don Lincoln takes us on a rollicking tour of the universe: The reader finds out what we particle physicists understand about it, how we arrived at that understanding and where we think we’re going next with our research… — American Scientist “American Scientist”

Don Lincoln, an experimentalist on DZero at Fermilab, motivates his tale of the development of particle physics, from its origins to its current state, almost entirely by experiments, a refreshing alternative to the usual theoretical treatments. — Symmetry “Symmetry”

Knowledgeably written … ‘Understanding the Universe’ provides the nonspecialist general reader with a fascinating and informative introduction to the complex world of quarks, leptons, and the forces that govern particle physics. — Midwest Book Review “Midwest Book Review”

Lincoln has an infectious love for physics … (and) demonstrates a humorous writing style that successfully engages the reader. — Publishers Weekly “Publishers Weekly”

Lincoln offers lay readers a complete tour of particle physics … (he) writes very well, using a mixture of humor, history and analogies as well basic scientific explanations … (and) does a particularly good job of covering the full gamut of particle physics. — Choice “Choice”

The author is well equipped to write a book on the topic … It is not light reading, but worth the effort … Lincoln is careful to distinguish between what is known versus what is merely dreamed. — Mensa Bulletin “Mensa Bulletin”

This book is addressed to the curious layman, with only a murky recollection of school physics, who wants to know how far mankind has gone in understanding the world around us … It is an excellent reference for any scientist who is occasionally unsure how best to explain a particular physics concept to a non-specialist audience … — CERN Courier “CERN Courier”

From the Back Cover

The Big Bang, the birth of the universe, was a singular event. All of the matter of the universe was concentrated at a single point, with temperatures so high that even the familiar protons and neutrons of atoms did not yet exist, but rather were replaced by a swirling maelstrom of energy, matter and antimatter. Exotic quarks and leptons flickered briefly into existence, before merging back into the energy sea.This book explains the fascinating world of quarks and leptons and the forces that govern their behavior. Told from an experimental physicist’s perspective, it forgoes mathematical complexity, using instead particularly accessible figures and apt analogies. In addition to the story of quarks and leptons, which are regarded as well-accepted fact, the author (who is a leading researcher at one of the world’s highest energy particle physics laboratories) also discusses mysteries at both the experimental and theoretical frontiers, before tying it all together with the exciting field of cosmology and indeed the birth of the universe itself.

The text spans the tiny world of the quark to the depths of the universe with breathtaking clarity. The casual student of science will appreciate the careful distinction between what is known (quarks, leptons and antimatter), what is suspected (Higgs bosons, neutrino oscillations and the reason why the universe has so little antimatter) and what is merely dreamed (supersymmetry, superstrings and extra dimensions). Included is an unprecedented chapter explaining the accelerators and detectors of modern particle physics experiments. The chapter discussing the hunt for the Higgs boson currently consuming the efforts of nearly 6000 physicists reveals drama that only big-stakes science can give. Understanding the Universe leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of the fascinating particle realm and reverence for just how much it determines the rich beauty of our universe.

Since the release of the first edition, the landscape has changed. The venerable Fermilab Tevatron has ceased operations after a quarter century of extraordinary performance, to be replaced by the CERN Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator with a design energy of seven times greater than the Tevatron and a collision rate of nearly a billion collisions per second. The next few years promise to be very exciting as scientists explore this new realm. This second edition of Understanding the Universe will leave the reader with a deep appreciation of just why physicists are so excited.

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