43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Breathtaking and inspirational, but not easy,
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which combined a number of the best features of "pop" science writing. A fascinating subject and an expert guide who has clearly spent much time thinking about the ideas and themes underlying his subject. All this has led to an articulate and thoughtful presentation of a (the) triumph of 20th century research into the laws of nature, combining both theory and experimentation, the Standard Model of particle physics.
The author communicates much of the excitement and progress that must have been felt as the story unfolded over the last 100 years from Einstein, through Schrodinger, Dirac, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Weinberg and others. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on doing physics by pure thought and gauge theory (but then I'm no experimentalist!). It is the most accessible book that I have come across for many of these ideas, including Lie symmetry groups.
I think that, whilst not an easy ride for a reader without any maths or science background, it achieves its goal of explaining the Standard Model to the "intelligent" reader. The ability to believe three or four impossible things before breakfast may be helpful though!
If you are interested in learning more about the world we live in, not to mention what all the fuss is about with these particle accelerators, then the chances are that you will love this book.
(14 customer reviews)