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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-04
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Of all the mind-bending discoveries of physics--quarks, black holes, strange attractors, curved space--the existence of Antimatter is one of the most bizarre. It is also one of the most difficult, literally and figuratively, to grasp. Antimatter explores this strange mirror world, where particles have identical yet opposite properties to those that make up the familiar matter we encounter everyday, where left becomes right, positive becomes negative, and where--should matter and Antimatter meet--the resulting flash of blinding energy would make even thermonuclear explosions look feeble by comparison.

Antimatter is an idea long beloved of science-fiction writers--but here, renowned science writer Frank Close shows that the reality of Antimatter is even more intriguing than the fiction. We know that at one time Antimatter and matter existed in perfect counterbalance, and that Antimatter then perpetrated a vanishing act on a cosmic scale that remains one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Today, Antimatter does not exist normally, at least on Earth, but we know that it is real, as scientists are now able to make small pieces of it in particle accelerators, such as that at CERN in Geneva. Looking at the remarkable prediction of Antimatter and how it grew from the meeting point of relativity and quantum theory in the early 20th century, at the discovery of the first antiparticles, at cosmic rays, annihilation, antimatter bombs, and antiworlds, Close separates the facts from the fiction about Antimatter, and explains how its existence can give us profound clues about the origins and structure of the universe. For all those wishing to take a closer look at the flip side of the visible world, this lucidly written book shines a bright light into a truly strange realm.

Frank Close explores the strange mirror world of Antimatter, revealing that the reality is even more fascinating than the sci-fi stories suggest. Explaining the science behind one of physics' most extraordinary discoveries, he shows how, through understanding Antimatter, we can shed light on some of the deepest mysteries of the universe.

Author Biography

Frank Close, OBE, is Professor of Physics at Oxford University and a Fellow of Exeter College. He was formerly vice president of the British Association for Advancement of Science and Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling Lucifer's Legacy, and the winner of the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics for his "outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics."

Table of Contents

Foreword: 'Genesis'
Antimatter: fact or fiction?
The material world
Tablets of stone
A cosmic discovery
Storing antimatter
Why is there anything at all?
Through the looking glass
Appendix: 'The Dirac Code'
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Excellent textbook July 31, 2011
Despite this textbook being on the "shorter" side, it's an excellent textbook -- well worth reading. This textbook is written for the usual armchair scientist (no heavy math) but goes into enough details to be meaningful. In particular, this textbook explains Dirac's mathematical work in predicting antimatter ... from which one can really appreciate Dirac's mental genius.
Can't go wrong buying this textbook!
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Antimatter: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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