The Perfect Wave: With Neutrinos at the Boundary of Space and TimeHardback
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- Publisher: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Hardback | 276 pages
- Dimensions: 145mm x 211mm x 28mm | 380g
- Publication date: 10 February 2014
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
- ISBN 10: 0674725018
- ISBN 13: 9780674725010
- Sales rank: 530,438
Almost weightless and able to pass through the densest materials with ease, neutrinos seem to defy the laws of nature. But these mysterious particles may hold the key to our deepest questions about the universe, says physicist Heinrich Pas. In "The Perfect Wave," Pas serves as our fluent, deeply knowledgeable guide to a particle world that tests the boundaries of space, time, and human knowledge. The existence of the neutrino was first proposed in 1930, but decades passed before one was detected. Pas animates the philosophical and scientific developments that led to and have followed from this seminal discovery, ranging from familiar topics of relativity and quantum mechanics to more speculative theories about dark energy and supersymmetry. Many cutting-edge topics in neutrino research--conjectures about the origin of matter, extra-dimensional spacetime, and the possibility of time travel--remain unproven. But Pas describes the ambitious projects under way that may confirm them, including accelerator experiments at CERN and Fermilab, huge subterranean telescopes designed to detect high-energy neutrino radiation, and the Planck space observatory scheduled to investigate the role of neutrinos in cosmic evolution. As Pas's history of the neutrino illustrates, what is now established fact often sounded wildly implausible and unnatural when first proposed. The radical side of physics is both an exciting and an essential part of scientific progress, and "The Perfect Wave" renders it accessible to the interested reader."
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Written by one of the world s leading experts in the field Heinrich Pas book guides the reader through some difficult territory, covering the historical and philosophical developments that led to our understanding of the neutrino today. It is a peculiar route that navigates via such topics as the ancient Greek and magic mushrooms. Plus of course the obligatory cat that is simultaneously alive and dead Though this book is written in simple language, don t expect an easy read. There are some highly challenging ideas to get your head around--but it is worth making the effort.--Paul Sutherland"BBC Sky at Night" (09/01/2014)"