Oxford University Press, 2002. — 249 p.Boasting more than three hundred illustrations, the majority in full color, The Particle Odyssey takes us on an exhilarating tour of the subatomic world. The pictures here are truly marvelous--over 100 of the best images ever taken of particle 'events'--mysterious, abstract, often beautiful photographs of the tracks of subatomic particles as they speed, curve, dance, or explode through cloud and bubble chambers, stacks of photographic emulsion, and giant multi-element detectors. There are illustrations of spiraling electrons, the tell-tale 'vees' of strange particles, matter and antimatter born from raw energy, energetic jets of particles spraying out from the decay points of quarks and gluons. Complementing the illustrations is a vividly written account of the key experiments and fundamental discoveries that have led to our current understanding of the nature of the universe. There are individual portraits of all the major subatomic particles, from the electron to the newly discovered top quark. The authors describe the history of experimental particle physics: its origins in the discovery of X-rays in 1895; the dissection of the atom by Rutherford and others; the unexpected revelations of the cosmic rays; the discovery of quarks and the rise of the 'standard model' in the last part of the 20th century. And they also look at the great questions that face physicists today--Where did antimatter go? What is dark matter? Can there be a theory of everything? A perfect gift for science buffs, The Particle Odyssey will enthrall everyone eager for a glimpse into the previously unknown the world of the atom.
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