- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New Edition edition (14 Sept. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140275827
- ISBN-13: 978-0140275827
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,702,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
In Search of SUSY: Supersymmetry and the Theory of Everything Paperback – 14 Sep 1998
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Our everyday language has yet to catch up with the exploration of the sub-atomic world of quantum physics: we still tend to use the word 'atom' to describe the smallest conceivable unit of matter. This slim volume from John Gribbin's productive word processor tells the fascinating story of the exploration of this sub-atomic world. Since the 1890s and J.J. Thomson's work on electrons, the list of particles and forces opened a whole new puzzling world. By the middle of the 20th century, there were 15 fundamental particles and the number was still rising to produce what appeared to be an increasingly complex picture.
The decades since Einstein's "General Theory of Relativity" have seen the realisation that sub-atomic particles do not obey the rules of Newtonian physics but rather, as Gribbin says "the laws of the world of quantum physics, where particles blur into waves, nothing is certain, and probability rules". Yet from this apparent uncertainty, many physicists now believe that they are on the verge of a general explanation of the way all this works--"a theory of everything involving a phenomenon known as supersymmetry, or SUSY". Weak forces, quarks and string theory are the meat of this fascinating trip into the unknown.
With the aid of a few simple diagrams and his usual lucid prose, Gribbin manages to convey the complexities of the story so that it can be understood by nonscientists who are prepared to make an effort to understand what could, after all, be one of the most important breakthroughs in science. Appendices, an annotated bibliography and index are helpful, though a glossary would have been even more useful. --Douglas Palmer