Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction

OUP Oxford
10
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In this compelling introduction to the fundamental particles that make up the universe, Frank Close takes us on a journey into the atom to examine known particles such as quarks, electrons, and the ghostly neutrino. Along the way he provides fascinating insights into how discoveries in particle physics have actually been made, and discusses how our picture of the world has been radically revised in the light of these developments. He concludes by looking ahead to new ideas about the mystery of antimatter, the number of dimensions that there might be in the universe, and to what the next 50 years of research might reveal. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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About the author

Frank Close is Professor of Physics at Oxford University and a Fellow of Exeter College. He was formerly the Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Head of Communications and Public Education at CERN. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling Lucifer's Legacy (OUP, 2000), and was the winner of the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics for his 'outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics'. His other books include The Cosmic Onion (1983), The Particle Explosion (1987), End (1988), Too Hot to Handle (1991), and The Particle Odyssey (OUP, 2002). In 2013 Professor Close was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for communicating science.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
May 13, 2004
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9780191577901
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / General
Science / Physics / Atomic & Molecular
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Not since Newton’s apple has there been a physics phenomenon as deliciously appealing to the masses as Frank Close’s Cosmic Onion. Widely embraced by scientists and laypersons alike, the book quickly became an international bestseller. Translated into seven languages, it propelled the author to become a worldwide celebrity as well as an inspiration to a generation of scientists. The book’s title itself has entered popular usage as a metaphor for the layers that can be peeled away to understand the foundations of the physical world, from dimensions and galaxies, to atoms and quarks.

“Close is a lucid, reliable, and enthusiastic guide to the strange and wonderful microcosmic world that dwells deep within reality”
— Frank Wilczek, Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, MIT, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics

NEW Material Explains the principles behind the Hadron Collider as well as the potential it presents Considers the recent development of the Electroweak Theory as a law of nature Explores the mysteries uncovered and the ones that may be in store with regard to top and bottom quarks

Keeping still-pertinent contents from the original volume that caught the world’s attention in 1983, this fresh edition of the Cosmic Onion includes extensive new material to reflect new views of the universe. Providing explanations that explore the foundations of 21st Century science and future directions, this work offers ready access and unique perspectives to more typical topics such as the forces of nature, atoms, the nucleus, and nuclear particles.

It also travels down paths that only a true pioneer and educator can venture, such as a discussion of what Professor Close refers to as the Eightfold Way including the findings, surprises, and new questions emerging from the latest work with accelerators.

What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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