272 pages, illustrations
An accessible look at the hottest topic in physics and the experiment that will transform our understanding of the universe Understanding what our universe is physically made of is one of the oldest and most researched scientific quandaries to date. In the spring of 2009, the Large Hadron Collider will begin smashing particles to deconstruct matter to its smallest pieces and test the existence of the elusive and theoretical Higgs boson - a.k.a. the God particle - among other experiments. The results could confirm or disprove what we supposedly know about quarks, string theory, dark matter, dark energy, and the fundamental tenets of modern physics. Paul Halpern explains what scientists are searching for and why particle physics could well be on the verge of some of its greatest breakthroughs.
Halpern explains complex topics and theories concisely, frequently drawing on deft analogies...Halpern makes the search for mysterious particles pertinent and exciting by explaining clearly what we don't know about the universe, and offering a hopeful outlook for future research. (Publishers Weekly, August 2009)
Acknowledgments. Prologue: Journey to the Heart of the Large Hadron Collider. Introduction: The Machinery of Perfection. 1 The Secrets of Creation. 2 The Quest for a Theory of Everything. 3 Striking Gold: Rutherford's Scattering Experiments. 4 Smashing Successes: The First Accelerators. 5 A Compelling Quartet: The Four Fundamental Forces. 6 A Tale of Two Rings: The Tevatron and the Super Proton Synchrotron. 7 Deep in the Heart of Texas: The Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider. 8 Crashing by Design: Building the Large Hadron Collider. 9 Denizens of the Dark: Resolving the Mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. 10 The Brane Drain: Looking for Portals to Higher Dimensions. 11 Microscopic Black Holes: A Boon to Science or a Boom for the World? Conclusion: The Future of High-Energy Physics: The International Linear Collider and Beyond. Notes. Further Reading. Index.
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Paul Halpern, PhD, is Professor of Physics and Mathematics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is the author of numerous books, including The Great Beyond and What's Science Ever Done for Us?, both available from Wiley.