Grace in All Simplicity: Beauty, Truth, and Wonders on the Path to the Higgs Boson and New Laws of Nature

Grace in All Simplicity: Beauty, Truth, and Wonders on the Path to the Higgs Boson and New Laws of Nature cover

Grace in All Simplicity: Beauty, Truth, and Wonders on the Path to the Higgs Boson and New Laws of Nature

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An enthralling and accessible account of humanity’s quest to make sense of our physical world, told through interwoven tales of inspiration, tragedy, and triumph.

How do the remarkable recent discoveries of the Higgs boson, dark matter, and dark energy connect with the equally revolutionary discoveries in centuries past? In Grace in All Simplicity, readers will delight in Cahn and Quigg's engaging prose and see how the infinite and the infinitesimal are joined. Today, physicists and astronomers are exploring distances from a billionth of a billionth of the human scale to the entire cosmos, and contemplating time intervals that range from less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second out to far longer than the age of the universe. Leaving home in this metaphorical way requires devising new instruments that spectacularly expand our senses and conceiving original ways of thinking that expand our minds. This is at once an act of audacity and an exercise in humility.

Grace in All Simplicity narrates the saga of how we have prospected for some of Nature’s most tightly held secrets, the basic constituents of matter and the fundamental forces that rule them. Our current understanding of the world (and universe) we inhabit is the result of curiosity, diligence, and daring, of abstraction and synthesis, and of an abiding faith in the value of exploration. In these pages we will meet scientists of both past and present. These men and women are professional scientists and amateurs, the eccentric and the conventional, performers and introverts. Scientists themselves, Cahn and Quigg convey their infectious joy as they search for new laws of nature.

Join the adventure as scientists ascend mountain tops and descend into caverns deep underground, travel to the coldest places on Earth, and voyage back in time to near the birth of the Universe. Visit today’s great laboratories and the astounding instruments they house. Grace in All Simplicity is a thrilling voyage filled with improbable discoveries and the extraordinary community of people who make them. Together, we will travel the path to the Higgs boson, weigh the evidence for subliminal dark matter, and learn what makes scientists invoke a mysterious agent named "dark energy." We will behold the emergence of a compelling picture of matter and forces, simple in its structure, graceful in the interplay of its parts, but still tantalizingly incomplete.

Robert Cahn is Senior Scientist, Emeritus at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He graduated in chemistry and physics from Harvard before graduate study in Berkeley. A theoretical particle physicist by training, he has also worked in experimental particle physics and cosmology. He is the author of two advanced textbooks and important results on the Higgs boson, dark energy, and how particle physics influences our everyday lives. He was an active member of Scientists for Sakharov, Orlov, and Shcharansky, which worked for the freedom of these victims of Soviet oppression.

Chris Quigg is Distinguished Scientist Emeritus at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He graduated in physics at Yale before moving to Berkeley for his doctorate. He is the author of an acclaimed text on gauge theories and critical works on high-energy collisions, quarks, neutrinos, and the Higgs boson.  He received the American Physical Society’s Sakurai Prize for theoretical physics and the German Alexander von Humboldt Prize. He rejuvenates himself on annual treks along France’s network of long-distance hiking trails.

ISBN: 9781639364817

ISBN-10: 9781639364817

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Publication Date: 11/07/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 11/07/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 400

Language: English

Categories

Science / Physics

Science / History

Science / Physics / Particle