Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified?

Princeton University Press
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A concise introduction to the cutting-edge science of particle physics

The standard model of particle physics describes our current understanding of nature's fundamental particles and their interactions, yet gaps remain. For example, it does not include a quantum theory of gravity, nor does it explain the existence of dark matter. Once complete, however, the standard model could provide a unified description of the very building blocks of the universe. Researchers have been chasing this dream for decades, and many wonder whether such a dream can ever be made a reality.

Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified? is a short introduction to this exciting frontier of physics. The book is accessibly written for students and researchers across the sciences, and for scientifically minded general readers. Paul Langacker begins with an overview of the key breakthroughs that have shaped the standard model, and then describes the fundamental particles, their interactions, and their role in cosmology. He goes on to explain field theory, internal symmetries, Yang-Mills theories, strong and electroweak interactions, the Higgs boson discovery, and neutrino physics. Langacker then looks at the questions that are still unanswered: What is the nature of the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that make up roughly 95 percent of the universe? Why is there more matter than antimatter? How can we reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity?

Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified? describes the promising theoretical ideas and new experiments that could provide answers and weighs our prospects for establishing a truly unified theory of the smallest constituents of nature and their interactions.

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About the author

Paul Langacker is senior scientist at Princeton University, visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and professor emeritus of physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Standard Model and Beyond.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Feb 28, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781400885503
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Physics / Atomic & Molecular
Science / Physics / General
Science / Physics / Quantum Theory
Science / Physics / Relativity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This new edition of The Standard Model and Beyond presents an advanced introduction to the physics and formalism of the standard model and other non-abelian gauge theories. It provides a solid background for understanding supersymmetry, string theory, extra dimensions, dynamical symmetry breaking, and cosmology. In addition to updating all of the experimental and phenomenological results from the first edition, it contains a new chapter on collider physics; expanded discussions of Higgs, neutrino, and dark matter physics; and many new problems.

The book first reviews calculational techniques in field theory and the status of quantum electrodynamics. It then focuses on global and local symmetries and the construction of non-abelian gauge theories. The structure and tests of quantum chromodynamics, collider physics, the electroweak interactions and theory, and the physics of neutrino mass and mixing are thoroughly explored. The final chapter discusses the motivations for extending the standard model and examines supersymmetry, extended gauge groups, and grand unification.

Thoroughly covering gauge field theories, symmetries, and topics beyond the standard model, this text equips readers with the tools to understand the structure and phenomenological consequences of the standard model, to construct extensions, and to perform calculations at tree level. It establishes the necessary background for readers to carry out more advanced research in particle physics.

Supplementary materials are provided on the author’s website and a solutions manual is available for qualifying instructors.

This new edition of The Standard Model and Beyond presents an advanced introduction to the physics and formalism of the standard model and other non-abelian gauge theories. It provides a solid background for understanding supersymmetry, string theory, extra dimensions, dynamical symmetry breaking, and cosmology. In addition to updating all of the experimental and phenomenological results from the first edition, it contains a new chapter on collider physics; expanded discussions of Higgs, neutrino, and dark matter physics; and many new problems.

The book first reviews calculational techniques in field theory and the status of quantum electrodynamics. It then focuses on global and local symmetries and the construction of non-abelian gauge theories. The structure and tests of quantum chromodynamics, collider physics, the electroweak interactions and theory, and the physics of neutrino mass and mixing are thoroughly explored. The final chapter discusses the motivations for extending the standard model and examines supersymmetry, extended gauge groups, and grand unification.

Thoroughly covering gauge field theories, symmetries, and topics beyond the standard model, this text equips readers with the tools to understand the structure and phenomenological consequences of the standard model, to construct extensions, and to perform calculations at tree level. It establishes the necessary background for readers to carry out more advanced research in particle physics.

Supplementary materials are provided on the author’s website and a solutions manual is available for qualifying instructors.

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