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A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC

A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC [Kindle Edition]

Gian Francesco Giudice
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description


If you have ever wondered what would drive an entire scientific community to spend 20 years designing a single experimental facility, or are merely curious as to what makes particle physics so fascinating and seductive, then this book is for you ... Both the layman and expert will find these insights into particle physics fascinating ... Reading this is like being led through the wonderland of theoretical physicists' most fervent imaginings by a slightly wicked, gossipy guide...

...enjoyable reading, with the important information that it carries mixed in with many fun facts and anecdotes of all sorts. Not to mention the spot-on explanatory metaphors that are distributed profusely throughout almost every chapter ... this book will become required reading for anyone interested in scientific human endeavour, in the reality of our world.

...engaging and frequently witty, speckled with original analogies and pithy quotations from physicists and cultural figures alike ... an excellent introduction to the LHC.

Gian Giudice has given us a charming, comprehensive, and deep yet easily readable description of the history, technology, and scientific aspirations of the Large Hadron Collider, perhaps the greatest scientific experiment ever.

This book, written by one of the leaders of the field, has a number of outstanding qualities: it is brilliant, original, comprehensive, entertaining and clear. It is a must for cultivated, non specialist readers who want to get an introduction to contemporary particle physics and to the exciting programme of the Large Hadron Collider of CERN.

Gian Giudice has drawn on his deep understanding of physics to write a wonderful book, presenting the central ideas underlying the grand intellectual adventure of particle physics in an engaging and thought-provoking way. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the big questions we face in fundamental physics, and the ways we are tackling them.

Gian Giudice provides a comprehensive introduction to the LHC as only a physicist working in the field could do.

Gian Giudice has, as one would expect from such a clear and original thinker, produced a book which both challenges and excites, providing fresh insights into the domain of particles and their interactions.

This fascinating book is entertaining and comprehensible, leading the reader to the world of extremes: the high technology of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and its huge particle detectors, the quest for the Higgs particle and the mysterious Dark Matter, and the theories of superstrings and extra dimensions at the verge of human imagination.

This book shows that it is possible to describe to non-experts the frontiers of modern physics, in a way which is both faithful and comprehensible. I almost envy the author his right-on-the-bull's-eye explanatory metaphors. I believe that this book will become required reading for anyone interested in the reality of our world and in scientific human endeavour.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. The weaving of important information with fun facts and anecdotes was awesome.

Product Description

This book provides a simple and understandable guide for appreciating the discoveries that are about to take place at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the world's largest particle accelerator. A CERN physicist leads the lay reader into the world of particle physics, from the astonishing technological innovations that were necessary to build the LHC, through the speculative theories invented to describe the ultimate laws governing the universe. The result is an extraordinary journey inside the fabric of matter, an exciting adventure inside a strange and bewildering space, through which one can appreciate the scale of the intellectual revolution that is about to happen. Does the mysterious Higgs boson exist? Does space hide supersymmetry or extend into extra dimensions? How can colliding protons at the LHC unlock the secrets of the origin of our universe? These questions are all framed and then addressed by an expert in the field. While making no compromises in accuracy, this cutting-edge material is presented in a friendly, accessible style. The book's aim is not just to inform, but to give the reader the physicist's sense of awe and excitement, as we stand on the brink of a new era in understanding the world in which we all live.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2754 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (3 Dec 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #740,742 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Gian Francesco Giudice is a theoretical particle physicist and has been a member of the Theoretical Physics Division at CERN since 1993. Born in 1961, he graduated from the University of Padua and obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from ISAS in Trieste. His career has always been closely related to collider research: before coming to CERN he worked at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago, as well as at the University of Texas, in the group of Prof. S. Weinberg, during the construction phase of the SSC. He has contributed to our present understanding of particle physics and cosmology with more than a hundred articles published in refereed scientific journals.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 8 Feb 2010
I find that books about particle physics tend to fall into one of two categories. Either they are a) full of maths and/or impenetrable to the lay reader or b) comprehensbile to a lay reader but less than exciting with rote descriptions of subatomic particles. This book manages to be both well within the grasp of a non-expert and also very entertaining. The author has a practitioner's understanding of his subject which is matched by a very entertaining delivery. Rightly or wrongly, I get the feeling I will have a better intuitive understanding of particle physics after reading this book than after reading no end of others. In short, highly recommended. Don't be put off by the cover. When I first picked it up, I thought it was yet another dense OUP monograph. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Zeptospace Odyssey 11 July 2013
By C.Young
I visited CERN recently and bought this book there. It is very readable and explains the complex world of Particle Physics very well.
What's particularly good is the use of analogies throughout. Physicists like analogies! The Higgs field analogy of swimming in water. The larger the object e.g. a hippo, feels move resistance as it swims and therefore "acquires" more mass...this helps the understanding of a quite baffling description of the Higgs boson. Very good for interested non-scientific readers as well as AS/AL students or indeed undergraduates. A really absorbing book.A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 6 April 2010
By Garet Kjellberg - Published on
I loved this
book: it is really fun to read. The LHC machine as well as the theories are presented with clarity and wit. The author works at CERN and he
knows the laboratory inside out. He is clearly a real expert in the theories and he is quite original and thought-provoking in the way he
presents them. Explanations are clear and often supplemented with simple analogies. You get a real tour of what's going on at CERN and in
the world of modern physics. I feel I now understand why the LHC is so important.

The book is lavished with the kind of stories and
anecdotes that only an insider like Guidice could provide. He's so much at his ease here in leading us through the rocky terrain of
particle physics, that he can afford to be funny, relaxed, and take us down some fascinating side roads.

Don't be put off by the textbook-
like cover: its content is really quite accessible. I think this book should be on the must-read list of any high school student interested
in science or engineering. It is perfect reading for science teachers and for anybody interested in modern physics. Highly recommended.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and readable 14 Jan 2010
By James Dzialo - Published on
This book gives a remarkably enjoyable, exciting, and digestible introduction to the LHC and the experiments there. This is the best science book I have ever read. I didn't know anything about the LHC before reading this book, and now I feel I understand the main objectives of this colossal experiment. I was left truly impressed by the LHC and the marvels of our world that will be explored there. I especially enjoyed the last chapters which speculate on the strange phenomena, fruit of the wilder current theories, which might be found at the LHC. It will be fun to find out what the LHC eventually discovers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cutting-edge insider account of particle physics today 2 Jan 2011
By Andy Arleo - Published on
The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is not only a gigantic technological feat, but also a tribute to the idealistic international quest to probe deeper into the fundamental principles of physics that account for the nature of the universe. Zeptospace, by the way, refers to distances no larger than a few hundred zeptometers. A zeptometer is equal to a billionth of a billionth of a millimeter.
Gian Francesco Giudice, a member of the Theoretical Physics Division at CERN who enjoys lecturing for non-specialist audiences, is an enthusiastic, humorous and reliable guide for this mind-boggling odyssey, providing striking analogies and metaphors to illuminate the abstract concepts of particle physics as well as amusing and revealing anecdotes about the foremost physicists of the 20th century and their work. The result is a reader-friendly cutting-edge insider account of particle physics today, and what we might expect tomorrow. The author weaves together a well-balanced tapestry of story-telling, theory, experimental data, technical facts and speculation.
As a non-physicist who has visited CERN, I found this book compelling, although it did require some effort to read. I learned a great deal but would not claim to master all the details of such a complex subject. The finest scientific minds of the last century were often challenged by the puzzling curveballs that nature has thrown us, and yet they kept coming back for more. The desire to solve these conundrums and to see where they lead us is what keeps research alive.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must reading 25 Sep 2010
By Bernard Durney - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a must reading for any cultivated person,
that by definition should be interested in one of the
greatest intellectual adventures of mankind. The author
manages to convey to a layman reader a glimpse of
some of the key, very difficult and abstract ideas of modern
physics; a miracle indeed. I particularly enjoyed Giudice's
discussion of the Higgs particle in the Open Questions
section, in page 173, quoting Glashow, "...The flush toilet
is a rather ugly thing, but it works and no one has come up
with a plausible alternative...." that so vividly conveys the
feeling of ambivalence that the Higgs particle cannot fail to
arouse. The discovery of the Higgs boson (far from certain it
appears to me) will indeed be a momentous day in the history
of physics.
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Gauge symmetry is an extremely powerful principle for ruling over all properties of forces. But its inflexibility is the cause of a problem. Gauge symmetry decrees that all force carriers must be &quote;
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The identification of the right answer to this problem is one of the main tasks of the LHC. &quote;
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down. The Higgs substance can be viewed as a dense molasses-like fluid filling all space. As a particle moves inside this dense medium, its motion is affected. The particle experiences a resistance, which influences its inertia. This dragging felt by the particle inside the Higgs substance corresponds to the notion of mass. The &quote;
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