The Large Hadron Collider

Author: Martin Beech
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441956682
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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It may at first seem that the world of subatomic physics is far removed from our every day lives. Isn’t it all just a waste of time and taxpayers' money? Hopefully, all who read this book will come to a different conclusion. Collider physics is all about our origins, and this aspect alone makes it worthy of our very best attention. The experiments conducted within the vast collider chambers are at the forefront of humanity’s quest to unweave the great tapestry that is the universe. Everything is connected. Within the macrocosm is the microcosm. By knowing how matter is structured, how atoms and elementary particles interact, and what forces control the interactions between the particles, we discover further clues as to why the universe is the way it is, and we uncover glimpses of how everything came into being. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the process of coming online at CERN, is the world’s largest and most complex machine. It represents the pinnacle of human ingenuity, and its physical characteristics, costs, and workings astound us at every turn. We are literally humbled by the machine that has been produced through a grand international collaboration of scientists. This book is about what those scientists hope to discover with the LHC, for hopes do run high, and there is much at stake. Careers, reputations and prestigious science prizes will be realized, and possibly lost, in the wake of the results that the LHC will produce. And there are risks, real and imagined. The LHC will probe the very fabric of matter and it will help us understand the very weft and the weave of the universe.

Warped Passages

Author: Lisa Randall
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060531088
Format: PDF
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The universe has its secrets. It may even hide extra dimensions, different from anything ever imagined. A whole raft of remarkable concepts now rides atop the scientific firmament, including parallel universes, warped geometry, and threedimensional sink-holes. We understand far more about the world than we did just a few short years ago -- and yet we are more uncertain about the true nature of the universe than ever before. Have we reached a point of scientific discovery so advanced that the laws of physics as we know them are simply not sufficient? Will we all soon have to accept explanations that previously remained in the realm of science fiction? Lisa Randall is herself making these extraordinary breakthroughs, pushing back the boundaries of science in her research to answer some of the most fundamental questions posed by Nature. For example, why is the gravitational field from the entire Earth so defenseless against the small tug of a tiny magnet? Searching for answers to such seemingly irresolvable questions has led physicists to postulate extra dimensions, the presence of which may lead to unimaginable gains in scientific understanding. Randall takes us into the incredible world of warped, hidden dimensions that underpin the universe we live in, describing how we might prove their existence, while examining the questions that they still leave unanswered. Warped Passages provides an exhilarating overview that tracks the arc of discovery from early twentieth-century physics to the razor's edge of today's particle physics and string theory, unweaving the current debates about relativity, quantum mechanics, and gravity. In a highly readable style sure to entertain and elucidate, Lisa Randall demystifies the science and beguilingly unravels the mysteries of the myriad worlds that may exist just beyond the one we are only now beginning to know.

Knocking on Heaven s Door

Author: Lisa Randall
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062096893
Format: PDF, Docs
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“Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands….How good it feels to have Lisa Randall’s unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side.” —Richard Dawkins “Dazzling ideas….Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.” —Steven Pinker The bestselling author of Warped Passages, one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” Lisa Randall gives us an exhilarating overview of the latest ideas in physics and offers a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives. Featuring fascinating insights into our scientific future born from the author’s provocative conversations with Nate Silver, David Chang, and Scott Derrickson, Knocking on Heaven’s Door is eminently readable, one of the most important popular science books of this or any year. It is a necessary volume for all who admire the work of Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Simon Singh, and Carl Sagan; for anyone curious about the workings and aims of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive machine ever built by mankind; for those who firmly believe in the importance of science and rational thought; and for anyone interested in how the Universe began…and how it might ultimately end.

The Physics of Invisibility

Author: Martin Beech
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781461406167
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The ability is see is fundamental to our very existence. How true our perceptions really are depends upon many factors, and not least is our understanding of what light is and how it interacts with matter. It was said that the camera, the icon of light recording instruments, never lies, and in the day of the glass plate and celluloid roll-film this might well have been true. But in this modern era, with electronic cameras and computer software, it is often safe to assume that the camera always lies. The advertising images that bombard our every waking moment are manipulated in shape, profile, color, and form. In this new era, light can be manipulated with metamaterials to make one object look like another or even cause that objects to vanish, literally before our eyes; not only can the image we see be manipulated, but so can the light itself.

The Cosmic Cocktail

Author: Katherine Freese
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140085007X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe—from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars—constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science—what is the universe made of?—told by one of today's foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter. Blending cutting-edge science with her own behind-the-scenes insights as a leading researcher in the field, acclaimed theoretical physicist Katherine Freese recounts the hunt for dark matter, from the discoveries of visionary scientists like Fritz Zwicky—the Swiss astronomer who coined the term "dark matter" in 1933—to the deluge of data today from underground laboratories, satellites in space, and the Large Hadron Collider. Theorists contend that dark matter consists of fundamental particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles. Billions of them pass through our bodies every second without us even realizing it, yet their gravitational pull is capable of whirling stars and gas at breakneck speeds around the centers of galaxies, and bending light from distant bright objects. Freese describes the larger-than-life characters and clashing personalities behind the race to identify these elusive particles. Many cosmologists believe we are on the verge of solving the mystery. The Cosmic Cocktail provides the foundation needed to fully fathom this epochal moment in humankind’s quest to understand the universe.

Earth

Author: Jonathan I. Lunine
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521850010
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Fully updated, this new edition provides a uniquely interdisciplinary overview of Earth's history and evolution for Earth science undergraduates.

Heart of Darkness

Author: Jeremiah P. Ostriker
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400844649
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Heart of Darkness describes the incredible saga of humankind's quest to unravel the deepest secrets of the universe. Over the past thirty years, scientists have learned that two little-understood components--dark matter and dark energy--comprise most of the known cosmos, explain the growth of all cosmic structure, and hold the key to the universe's fate. The story of how evidence for the so-called "Lambda-Cold Dark Matter" model of cosmology has been gathered by generations of scientists throughout the world is told here by one of the pioneers of the field, Jeremiah Ostriker, and his coauthor Simon Mitton. From humankind's early attempts to comprehend Earth's place in the solar system, to astronomers' exploration of the Milky Way galaxy and the realm of the nebulae beyond, to the detection of the primordial fluctuations of energy from which all subsequent structure developed, this book explains the physics and the history of how the current model of our universe arose and has passed every test hurled at it by the skeptics. Throughout this rich story, an essential theme is emphasized: how three aspects of rational inquiry--the application of direct measurement and observation, the introduction of mathematical modeling, and the requirement that hypotheses should be testable and verifiable--guide scientific progress and underpin our modern cosmological paradigm. This monumental puzzle is far from complete, however, as scientists confront the mysteries of the ultimate causes of cosmic structure formation and the real nature and origin of dark matter and dark energy.

Understanding the Universe

Author: Don Lincoln
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9814458058
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Big Bang, the birth of the universe, was a singular event. All of the matter of the universe was concentrated at a single point, with temperatures so high that even the familiar protons and neutrons of atoms did not yet exist, but rather were replaced by a swirling maelstrom of energy, matter and antimatter. Exotic quarks and leptons flickered briefly into existence, before merging back into the energy sea. This book explains the fascinating world of quarks and leptons and the forces that govern their behavior. Told from an experimental physicist's perspective, it forgoes mathematical complexity, using instead particularly accessible figures and apt analogies. In addition to the story of quarks and leptons, which are regarded as well-accepted fact, the author (who is a leading researcher at one of the world's highest energy particle physics laboratories) also discusses mysteries at both the experimental and theoretical frontiers, before tying it all together with the exciting field of cosmology and indeed the birth of the universe itself. The text spans the tiny world of the quark to the depths of the universe with breathtaking clarity. The casual student of science will appreciate the careful distinction between what is known (quarks, leptons and antimatter), what is suspected (Higgs bosons, neutrino oscillations and the reason why the universe has so little antimatter) and what is merely dreamed (supersymmetry, superstrings and extra dimensions). Included is an unprecedented chapter explaining the accelerators and detectors of modern particle physics experiments. The chapter discussing the hunt for the Higgs boson — currently consuming the efforts of nearly 6000 physicists — reveals drama that only big-stakes science can give. Understanding the Universe leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of the fascinating particle realm and reverence for just how much it determines the rich beauty of our universe. Since the release of the first edition, the landscape has changed. The venerable Fermilab Tevatron has ceased operations after a quarter century of extraordinary performance, to be replaced by the CERN Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator with a design energy of seven times greater than the Tevatron and a collision rate of nearly a billion collisions per second. The next few years promise to be very exciting as scientists explore this new realm. This revised edition of Understanding the Universe will leave the reader with a deep appreciation of just why physicists are so excited. Contents:Early HistoryThe Path to Knowledge (History of Particle Physics)Quarks and LeptonsForces: What Holds It All TogetherHunting for the HiggsAccelerators and Detectors: Tools of the TradeNear Term MysteriesExotic Physics (The Next Frontier)Recreating the Universe 10,000,000 Times a SecondEpilogue: Why Do We Do It? Readership: Students, scientists and lay people. Keywords:Quarks;Leptons;Accelerators;UniverseReviews: “Lincoln has an infectious love for physics … (and) demonstrates a humorous writing style that successfully engages the reader.” Publishers Weekly “The author is well equipped to write a book on the topic … It is not light reading, but worth the effort … Lincoln is careful to distinguish between what is known versus what is merely dreamed.” Mensa Bulletin “A veteran of many popular talks on physics, (Lincoln) charmingly relates the tale of humankind's almost insatiable curiosity about the ultimate nature of nature and the quest to determine the basic particles of matter. His style is engaging and obviously directed to informed lay readers, but the more scientifically minded will find it equally appealing … If digested with the notion that this topic is presented in a broad swath, both historically and scientifically, and not meant to be definitive, the work offers readers an appreciation of the investigative procedure, the accumulated body of research, and the people who did the investigating.” Library Journal “Don Lincoln, an experimentalist on DZero at Fermilab, motivates his tale of the development of particle physics, from its origins to its current state, almost entirely by experiments, a refreshing alternative to the usual theoretical treatments. Rather than posing thought experiments, Lincoln describes real experiments that have led to deeper questions and the consequent progress of particle physics … With his light and easy-to-read style, Lincoln's humor and personal tales do much to convey the flavor of modern particle physics research — a picture that is not often painted so realistically in other popular physics books. The content is more complicated than in most similar books, but this is a virtue for its intended audience, as it allows for greater depth.” Symmetry “Knowledgeably written … ‘Understanding the Universe’ provides the nonspecialist general reader with a fascinating and informative introduction to the complex world of quarks, leptons, and the forces that govern particle physics. Written especially to introduce lay readers to subatomic mysteries, (the book) discusses the Big Bang, known and proven theories, suspected hypotheses that have yet to be firmly established, cutting-edge discussions of modern particle physics experiments, and much more. Black-and-white diagrams help illustrate the amazing ideas presented with a minimum of mathematics and a maximum of awe.” Midwest Book Review “Don Lincoln takes us on a rollicking tour of the universe: The reader finds out what we particle physicists understand about it, how we arrived at that understanding and where we think we're going next with our research … Lincoln enlivens the landscape with fresh details, irreverent (yet never unkind) remarks on the cast of characters, and explanations that are homey, humorous and often completely original … In his epilogue Lincoln addresses explicitly the question of why particle physicists ask why … the real reason we do research is simply this: It's tremendously fun to figure the universe out.” American Scientist “… Lincoln offers lay readers a complete tour of particle physics …(he) writes very well, using a mixture of humor, history and analogies as well basic scientific explanations … (and) does a particularly good job of covering the full gamut of particle physics.” Choice “This book is addressed to the curious layman, with only a murky recollection of school physics, who wants to know how far mankind has gone in understanding the world around us … It is an excellent reference for any scientist who is occasionally unsure how best to explain a particular physics concept to a non-specialist audience … his understanding and explanations of complex phenomena are excellent and the book strikes a balance between depth and accessibility.” CERN Courier “The author faces complex topics in a very simple and clever way without using mathematics but by simple (and suitable) analogies. The reading is intriguing and very flowing and, sometimes, very entertaining. The book is peppered with amusing anecdotes that make reading smoother and funny. This book is a masterpiece of scientific disclosure. I recommend its reading for those people who want to delve into the wonders of modern Physics.” Zentralblatt MATH

Why the Universe Exists

Author: New Scientist,
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey
ISBN: 1473658551
Format: PDF, Docs
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WHY IS THERE ALWAYS SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING? As you read this, billions of neutrinos from the sun are passing through your body, antimatter is sprouting from your dinner and the core of your being is a chaotic mess of particles known only as quarks and gluons. Following the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, Why The Universe Exists takes you deeper into the world of particle physics, exploring how the universe functions at the smallest scales. Find out about the hunt for dark matter, discover how accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider are rewinding time to the first moments after the big bang, and learn how ghostly neutrino particles may hold the answers to the greatest mysteries of the universe.