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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2014
This is the story of discovery of neutrino and experiments to detect it. My only criticism is that at times the history is repetitive. But as it is one the few popular book on the subject, it is worth reading.
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on 11 July 2011
I'm a layman reader, so can struggle with very technical books. Neutrino gets the balance between layman descriptions and more in-depth diagrams and mathematics just right, so I came away with a much better understanding of not only Neutrinos, but what, exactly, particle accelerators at CERN and the LHC actually do. It also sticks in the memory and encourages further research - the primers it provides mean that further investigations of subjects touched on in the book bear fruit quickly.

The book makes for a gripping thriller as Close weaves the tales of the scientists on the hunt for the mysterious particle, seeing it slip away from them just as they manage to grab it, but always closing in despite its slipperiness.

All in all, an excellent, easy-going, and charming book.
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on 10 June 2014
Like a neutrino beam this book is both dense and light at the same time. Obviously written for the educated layperson it explains in exquisite details the mechanics behind the neutrino. But the explanations always remain remarkably clear. Occasionally some concepts may require a bit more effort for the uninitiated, but the author only discusses what is necessary to understand the story. And that is precisely what this book is: a story of the neutrino.

That story starts in 1930 and ends here around 2005. The main plot revolves around three little known characters: Raymond Davis, John Bahcall and Bruno Pontecorvo. They come to life in this book like never before. They are the unsung heroes of particle physics and only the specialists know who they are and what they have accomplished. But these three pioneers will now be able to rest in peace because Close has done a wonderful job of revealing for the first time to a large audience their true contribution to modern physics. The author tells this story like if he was talking to his students in a classroom, recounting how the neutrino was first conceived in the imagination of the scientists and how it was eventually discovered many years later. In the process we come to learn the physics of the neutrino, like students riveted to the blackboard, with our minds captivated by personal and scientific anecdotes intertwined with science lessons. The author was very successful at maintaining a good balance between the human aspect and the scientific endeavour. And because the elusive nature of the neutrino and its mysterious character often extended to the protagonists themselves it made a fascinating read.

While doing the research for this book the author uncovered so many interesting facts about Pontecorvo that he decided to write a dedicated biography: "Half-Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy". Like for the anticipated discovery of the neutrino, these two books were long overdue.
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on 10 July 2012
I found this book engrossing. The particle physics was well described in a way that's easy to read yet not patronising to the reader. The human story of the first time the neutrino was postulated through to modern "neutrino telescopes" was also engrossing. The only thing that it lacked was a simple to read table listing the time-line of events and people - that would have been a better 'reprise' chapter.
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on 11 September 2015
Slighty over-technical for someone like me, but I enjoyed reading about the extent to which Scientist will go to prove the existence of the holy grail of sub-atomic particles. A great read in parts and bewildering one in others.
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on 6 January 2013
Know a lot more about what could be considered a dry topic of neutrinos.
Covers the history and people who were involved in trying to detect one of the the most illusive of particles.
An interesting read. A bit disconcerting to read that millions of particles are passing through your body every second though!
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on 10 March 2014
Close does a great job of elucidating the quest for the neutrino in this book - having read his previous 'Antimatter', which was a lot less than elucidating, and thus having low expectations for this sequel, I was pleasantly surprised by both the comprehensivity and yet scientific detail of this book. A fun, short read (as opposed to a Brian Greene trek...), and one abound with the ever-desired 'ah, yes' moments that make physics worth its while.

166 pages of accessible and interesting cutting edge physics.
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on 19 July 2012
All books by Frank Close are excellent, informative & reliable. This one, though, not only tells the elusive story of the elusive neutrino, but also shows its author as a careful chronicler of his fellow scientists' work, ensuring that credit for their ingenuities & dedication is recorded fairly where it belongs, yet all as part of the story of discovery. So if you only read one of his books, let this be it: after all, neutrinos are clearly at the heart of the universe's evolution. (By the way, to answer a question elsewhere in these reviews, there is an understanding of particle oscillations, & nailing further details for the neutrino by observation will help progress a line of enquiry probably as significant as that for the Higgs mechanism).
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on 13 May 2013
Frank Close wrote a tribute to the scientists and institutions that made an one century quest through Radioactivity, the Sun and Particle Physics in order to reveal the nature of the neutrino. With a free of scientific jargon and a captivating narrative, "Neutrino" unveils the mysteries of a particle essential to understand our Universe.
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on 13 April 2013
I have taught Particle Physics to A Level students and this was an excellent account of the whole story. A prior knowledge of some of the discoveries of the last century would be useful but not essential. Frank Close has an excellent ability to explain the complicated in a very easy to understand manner. I enjoyed this book.
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