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The title alone would have been enough to make me steer clear — this label, god particle, for the Particula divina lederman boson, is just the kind of hype and misrepresentation that science does not need — I can't get behind that.


Despite initial misgivings, I did eventually come to enjoy it. Despite some slow parts and some theore Why am I reading a twenty year old popular particula divina lederman book?

La Partícula Divina by Leon M. Lederman

Despite some slow parts and some theoretical parts where the book is beginning to show its age, I did come away with an overall favorable impression, and would recommend it to others for certain topics that it particula divina lederman splendidly.

The best particula divina lederman them were the detailed explanations of how many important particle physics experiments throughout history were done — how they proved what they proved, and how the apparatus was constructed.

One tends to read pop physics by theorists, but this one is by an experimenter, a Nobel Prize winning experimenter at that.

It's a different perspective from most of what other physics I have read, and has a nuts and bolts feel to it.


You get a hardware-level look at everything from Galileo's inclined planes, to particula divina lederman earliest alpha-particle scattering experiments to the invention and development of cyclotrons and synchrotrons, and the different particula divina lederman of detectors used in them.

We also learn about how different experimental setups competed for some of the same discoveries, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of, say, electron-positron colliders compared to proton-antiproton colliders.


The book is structured around a theme of the quest for the atomos posited by Democritus, the fundamental uncuttable constituent of all matter as opposed to the chemical atom which is itself a composite particle.

This theme is traced all the way from Democritus what little we particula divina lederman of him to the physicists of the Enlightenment, the 19th century, and into the modern era.


I found the connection to ancient Greek philosophy to be a bit of a stretch, or at least over-emphasized, but it particula divina lederman at least food for thought.

There were some whimsical digressions where the author played with this theme — imaginary conversations with Democritus — that I personally found to be the most dull particula divina lederman of the book.

On the other hand, there were also fascinating stories about famous scientists that I had not heard before, and even a few lesser-known scientists that I was introduced to for the first time, like Boscovich.

The parts written as memoir are some of the most particula divina lederman parts of the book. This book is becoming a little bit dated as far as the physics and cosmology it covers is concerned.

La Partícula Divina by Leon M. Lederman

particula divina lederman Not so much that it's wrong, as that it is incomplete. At the time this was written, the Superconducting Supercollider project had not yet been cancelled, the Large Hadron Collider had not yet been announced, the tau particle had not been discovered, the accelerating expansion of the universe and dark energy was unknown, and the age of the universe was only known to be "about 15 billion particula divina lederman.

particula divina lederman For this reason, I did not particula divina lederman so much on the physics and cosmology in the book, and read more for the history and engineering. This made some parts of the book seem like a very slow read. There was one outright error in the edition that I read that first brought me confusion, then surprise.

I can only hope that it was corrected in later editions. On pagethe time-energy particula divina lederman principle was described incorrectly: That should read "uncertainty of I also wondered about another statement later in the book, but I forget now what it was.