Ever Smaller

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-09-15
  • Publisher: Mit Pr

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Ideas, theories, experiments, and unanswered questions in particle physics, explained (with anecdotes) for the general reader.

The elementary particles of matter hold the secrets of Nature together with the fundamental forces. In Ever Smaller, neutrino physicist Antonio Ereditato describes the amazing discoveries of the “particle revolution,” explaining ideas, theories, experiments, and unanswered questions in particle physics in a way that is accessible (and enjoyable) for the general reader. Ereditato shows us that physics is not the exclusive territory of scientists in white lab coats exclaiming “Eureka” but that its revelations can be appreciated by any reader curious about the mysteries of the universe.

Ereditato's overview takes us through a century of particle physics, from the discovery of the components of the atom through an endless procession of subatomic particles—the pion, the muon, the quarks, the W, Z, gluon, Higgs boson, and the mysterious, ubiquitous neutrino (Ereditato's chosen specialty)—interweaving the history of these discoveries with basic explanations of the physics itself as well as the technology behind the discoveries. He considers the particle physicist's impulse to pursue the “ever smaller”—to divide matter into ever more minuscule parts, until reaching the elementary constituents of the universe; explains how Nature likes symmetries; describes the workings of particle accelerators and detectors; demonstrates how to distinguish between three identical quarks; and warns that the ugliest experimental data are more important than the most beautiful theory. With Ever Smaller, Ereditato invites readers to join him in appreciating the beauty of the microcosm.

Author Biography

Antonio Ereditato is Director of the University of Bern's Laboratory for High Energy Physics. He is the former leader of OPERA, a large multinational collaborative study of neutrino physics at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and he participated in the ATLAS experiments at CERN that led to the detection of the Higgs boson (the “God particle”) and in several large neutrino projects including T2K in Japan and MicroBooNE and DUNE in the United Sates. He is the author of The State of the Art of Neutrino Physics.

Table of Contents

1  Atoms and Beyond
2  The Indivisible and the Divisible
3  Everything is Relative
4  The Certainty of Chance
5  The Family Grows
6  Energized Particles
7  Three Quarks for Muster Mark!
8  May the Force be with Us!
9  The World Through the Looking-Glass
10  The Most Beautiful Theory in the World
11  The Color of Elementary Particles
12  The November Revolution
13  Weak, but Very Influential
14  The Chameleon
15  Seeing the Invisible
16  United You Win
17  Dream, the Unknown, Adventure
18  Be Curious

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