Back Cover Blurb
- This book is intended to bridge the gap between traditional textbooks on particle physics and the popular accounts of the subject which assume little or no background in the physical sciences on the part of the reader. Although entirely self-contained, it assumes a greater familiarity with basic physics concepts than is usually the case in popular texts. This then allows a fuller discussion of the more modern developments.
- The recent discovery of the W± and Z° bosons in proton-antiproton collisions at the CERN Laboratory near Geneva is the triumphal culmination of a decade of progress which has seen the verification of the unified theory of the electromagnetic and weak forces as formulated by Glashow, Weinberg and Salam. A different class of experiments, the electron-positron collisions, have made similar progress in contributing to our understanding of the strong nuclear force. In particular, these experiments have provided much evidence confirming the physical reality of the quarks - the constituents of the protons and the fundamental sources of the strong force.
- These two streams of progress form the central core of this book. But it also goes on to look at the more recent grand- and super-unified theories and their predictions, some of which are currently under active experimental investigation. All of this work is introduced by an account of the early days of atomic physics (at around the turn of the century) and of the subsequent progression of the subject through nuclear physics to particle physics proper. Theoretical development of the subject is traced from the fundamentals of relativity and quantum mechanics1 to the modern gauge theories.
- The book has been written for a readership of graduates in the physical sciences, mathematics, engineering and other numerate disciplines. It may also be of use to students of physics seeking an introductory overview of the subject before getting down to the details of the formalism.
- Some reviewers’ opinions
- ‘... the statements made are precise and are related to a general theoretical framework in such a way that readers will be able to appreciate the logical connections, even if quite unable to carry out the calculations themselves.’
→ The Times Higher Education Supplement
- ‘... even the deepest concepts are explained clearly and accurately... the result is an ideal introduction, for the scientifically literate, to the arcane world of particle physics.’
→ The Observatory
- ‘... the book is bang up to date ... If you consider yourself to be reasonably numerate, and want to learn about quarks and gluons, asymptotic freedom and colour confinement, electroweak unification, and W and Z bosons, Dr Dodd’s book is an excellent place to start. More important, if you want to know how the jig-saw puzzle seems to be falling into place, making sense of the plethora of particles, then this is the book to read.’
- About the author: James Dodd was born in Antwerp in 1952 and was educated at the Kings’ School at Rochester in Kent and at the universities of London, Oxford and Cambridge. After taking his first degree from Royal Holloway College, London University, he moved to the Department of Theoretical Physics in the University of Oxford where he was awarded his doctorate for his research into high-energy proton-proton collisions. After this he continued his research work in a post-doctoral appointment in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. During this time he paid a working visit to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California. In addition to his research papers, he has written several popular articles on high energy physics for New Scientist magazine and others.
CUP, 1988 Reprint
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
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