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Particle Physics

The Perfect Wave: With Neutrinos at the Boundary of Space and Time

The Perfect Wave: With Neutrinos at the Boundary of Space and Time Lowest new price: $21.76
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Author: Heinrich Päs

Almost weightless and able to pass through the densest materials with ease, neutrinos seem to defy the laws of nature. But these mysterious particles may hold the key to our deepest questions about the universe, says physicist Heinrich Päs. In The Perfect Wave, Päs serves as our fluent, deeply knowledgeable guide to a particle world that tests the boundaries of space, time, and human knowledge.

The existence of the neutrino was first proposed in 1930, but decades passed before one was detected. Päs animates the philosophical and scientific developments that led to and have followed from this seminal discovery, ranging from familiar topics of relativity and quantum mechanics to more speculative theories about dark energy and supersymmetry. Many cutting-edge topics in neutrino research--conjectures about the origin of matter, extra-dimensional spacetime, and the possibility of time travel--remain unproven. But Päs describes the ambitious projects under way that may confirm them, including accelerator experiments at CERN and Fermilab, huge subterranean telescopes designed to detect high-energy neutrino radiation, and the Planck space observatory scheduled to investigate the role of neutrinos in cosmic evolution.

As Päs's history of the neutrino illustrates, what is now established fact often sounded wildly implausible and unnatural when first proposed. The radical side of physics is both an exciting and an essential part of scientific progress, and The Perfect Wave renders it accessible to the interested reader.

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The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Lowest new price: $9.97
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Author: Brian Greene

The international bestseller that inspired a major Nova special and sparked a new understanding of the universe, now with a new preface and epilogue.

Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated concepts ever contemplated accessible and thoroughly entertaining, bringing us closer than ever to understanding how the universe works.

There is an ill-concealed skeleton in the closet of physics: "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right." Each is exceedingly accurate in its field: general relativity explains the behavior of the universe at large scales, while quantum mechanics describes the behavior of subatomic particles. Yet the theories collide horribly under extreme conditions such as black holes or times close to the big bang. Brian Greene, a specialist in quantum field theory, believes that the two pillars of physics can be reconciled in superstring theory, a theory of everything.

Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21st-century physics that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties--"string theorists work to find approximate solutions to approximate equations"--Greene gives a tour of string theory solid enough to satisfy the scientifically literate.

Though Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study is in many ways the human hero of The Elegant Universe, it is not a human-side-of-physics story. Greene's focus throughout is the science, and he gives the nonspecialist at least an illusion of understanding--or the sense of knowing what it is that you don't know. And that is traditionally the first step on the road to knowledge. --Mary Ellen Curtin

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Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model

Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model Lowest new price: $75.85
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Author: Matthew D. Schwartz

Providing a comprehensive introduction to quantum field theory, this textbook covers the development of particle physics from its foundations to the discovery of the Higgs boson. Its combination of clear physical explanations, with direct connections to experimental data, and mathematical rigor make the subject accessible to students with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Assuming only an undergraduate-level understanding of quantum mechanics, the book steadily develops the Standard Model and state-of-the art calculation techniques. It includes multiple derivations of many important results, with modern methods such as effective field theory and the renormalization group playing a prominent role. Numerous worked examples and end-of-chapter problems enable students to reproduce classic results and to master quantum field theory as it is used today. Based on a course taught by the author over many years, this book is ideal for an introductory to advanced quantum field theory sequence or for independent study.

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Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur

Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur Lowest new price: $43.70
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Author: Tom Lancaster

Quantum field theory is arguably the most far-reaching and beautiful physical theory ever constructed, with aspects more stringently tested and verified to greater precision than any other theory in physics. Unfortunately, the subject has gained a notorious reputation for difficulty, with forbidding looking mathematics and a peculiar diagrammatic language described in an array of unforgiving, weighty textbooks aimed firmly at aspiring professionals. However, quantum field theory is too important, too beautiful, and too engaging to be restricted to the professionals. This book on quantum field theory is designed to be different. It is written by experimental physicists and aims to provide the interested amateur with a bridge from undergraduate physics to quantum field theory. The imagined reader is a gifted amateur, possessing a curious and adaptable mind, looking to be told an entertaining and intellectually stimulating story, but who will not feel patronised if a few mathematical niceties are spelled out in detail. Using numerous worked examples, diagrams, and careful physically motivated explanations, this book will smooth the path towards understanding the radically different and revolutionary view of the physical world that quantum field theory provides, and which all physicists should have the opportunity to experience.

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Introduction to Elementary Particles

Introduction to Elementary Particles Lowest new price: $48.04
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Author: David Griffiths

In the second, revised edition of a well-established textbook, the author strikes a balance between quantitative rigor and intuitive understanding, using a lively, informal style. The first chapter provides a detailed historical introduction to the subject, while subsequent chapters offer a quantitative presentation of the Standard Model. A simplified introduction to the Feynman rules, based on a "toy" model, helps readers learn the calculational techniques without the complications of spin. It is followed by accessible treatments of quantum electrodynamics, the strong and weak interactions, and gauge theories. New chapters address neutrino oscillations and prospects for physics beyond the Standard Model. The book contains a number of worked examples and many end-of-chapter problems. A complete solution manual is available for instructors.

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The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World Lowest new price: $7.06
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Author: Sean Carroll
Brand: Plume

Winner of the prestigious 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

“A modern voyage of discovery.” —Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, author of The Lightness of Being

The Higgs boson is one of our era’s most fascinating scientific frontiers and the key to understanding why mass exists. The most recent book on the subject, The God Particle, was a bestseller. Now, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll documents the doorway that is opening—after billions of dollars and the efforts of thousands of researchers at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland—into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The Particle at the End of the Universe has it all: money and politics, jealousy and self-sacrifice, history and cutting-edge physics—all grippingly told by a rising star of science writing.

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Radiation Detection and Measurement

Radiation Detection and Measurement Lowest new price: $60.99
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Author: Glenn F. Knoll

This is the resource that engineers turn to in the study of radiation detection. The fourth edition takes into account the technical developments that continue to enhance the instruments and techniques available for the detection and spectroscopy of ionizing radiation. New coverage is presented on ROC curves, micropattern gas detectors, new sensors for scintillation light, and the excess noise factor. Revised discussions are also included on TLDs and cryogenic spectrometers, radiation backgrounds, and the VME standard. Engineers will gain a strong understanding of the field with this updated book.

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Modern Particle Physics

Modern Particle Physics Lowest new price: $42.99
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Author: Professor Mark Thomson

Unique in its coverage of all aspects of modern particle physics, this textbook provides a clear connection between the theory and recent experimental results, including the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN. It provides a comprehensive and self-contained description of the Standard Model of particle physics suitable for upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students studying experimental particle physics. Physical theory is introduced in a straightforward manner with full mathematical derivations throughout. Fully-worked examples enable students to link the mathematical theory to results from modern particle physics experiments. End-of-chapter exercises, graded by difficulty, provide students with a deeper understanding of the subject. Online resources available at feature password-protected fully-worked solutions to problems for instructors, numerical solutions and hints to the problems for students and PowerPoint slides and JPEGs of figures from the book.

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The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 1: Foundations

The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume 1: Foundations Lowest new price: $44.00
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Author: Steven Weinberg
Brand: Cambridge University Press

In The Quantum Theory of Fields, Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg combines his exceptional physical insight with his gift for clear exposition to provide a self-contained, comprehensive, and up-to-date introduction to quantum field theory. This is a two-volume work. Volume I introduces the foundations of quantum field theory. The development is fresh and logical throughout, with each step carefully motivated by what has gone before, and emphasizing the reasons why such a theory should describe nature. After a brief historical outline, the book begins anew with the principles about which we are most certain, relativity and quantum mechanics, and the properties of particles that follow from these principles. Quantum field theory emerges from this as a natural consequence. The author presents the classic calculations of quantum electrodynamics in a thoroughly modern way, showing the use of path integrals and dimensional regularization. His account of renormalization theory reflects the changes in our view of quantum field theory since the advent of effective field theories. The book's scope extends beyond quantum electrodynamics to elementary particle physics, and nuclear physics. It contains much original material, and is peppered with examples and insights drawn from the author's experience as a leader of elementary particle research. Problems are included at the end of each chapter. This work will be an invaluable reference for all physicists and mathematicians who use quantum field theory, and it is also appropriate as a textbook for graduate students in this area.

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Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space

Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space Lowest new price: $4.37
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Author: Lisa Randall

On July 4, 2012, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva madehistory when they discovered an entirely new type of subatomic particle that many scientists believe is the Higgs boson. For forty years, physicists searched for this capstone to the Standard Model of particle physics—the theory that describes both the most elementary components that are known in matter and the forces through which they interact. This particle points to the Higgs field, which provides the key to understanding why elementary particles have mass. In Higgs Discovery, Lisa Randall explains the science behind this monumental discovery, its exhilarating implications, and the power of empty space.

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