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Steven Weinberg

The discovery of subatomic particles

This book has been written to tell the story of the discovery of elementary particles, while at the same time teaching the reader about earlier, more basic physics. However, I would say that it isn't for the complete novice - it is more suited to a student of physics who would benefit from studying the calculations described - it is good to have examples to follow which lead to an significant result. It would also suit someone who already knows some physics and is interested in more details of the history of the subject.

The mix of calculation and history succeeds well in the first part of the book, dealing mostly with the properties of the electron, which could largely be described using classical physics. However, after that quantum mechanics was a requirement, and as this is beyond the intended readers of this book, there are no such calculations in the later part of the book. I would also say that the book is less useful as a motivation for studying classical physics using a more modern topic since it is now nearly a quarter of a century old, and the particle physics goes up to the beginning of the 1970's. I feel that quarks are no longer as exciting now as they were then.

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Hardcover 222 pages  
ISBN: 052182351X
Salesrank: 73771
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2003 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price $54.99
Marketplace:New from $28.99:Used from $6.70
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 222 pages  
ISBN: 052182351X
Salesrank: 1371868
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2003 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price £40.99
Marketplace:New from £29.73:Used from £20.22
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 222 pages  
ISBN: 052182351X
Salesrank: 834331
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2003 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 62.95
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 58.42:Used from CDN$ 32.82
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Product Description
This commentary on the discovery of the atom's constituents provides an historical account of key events in the physics of the twentieth century that led to the discoveries of the electron, proton and neutron. Steven Weinberg introduces the fundamentals of classical physics that played crucial roles in these discoveries. Connections are shown throughout the book between the historic discoveries of subatomic particles and contemporary research at the frontiers of physics, including the most current discoveries of new elementary particles. Steven Weinberg was Higgins Professor of Physics at Harvard before moving to The University of Texas at Austin, where he founded its Theory Group. At Texas he holds the Josey Regental Chair of Science and is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Departments. His research has spanned a broad range of topics in quantum field theory, elementary particle physics, and cosmology, and has been honored with numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physics, the National Medal of Science, the Heinemann Prize in Mathematical Physics, the Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Madison Medal of Princeton University, and the Oppenheimer Prize. In addition to the well-known treatise, Gravitation and Cosmololgy, he has written several books for general readers, including the prize-winning The First Three Minutes (now translated into 22 foreign languages), and most recently Dreams of a Final Theory (Pantheon Books, 1993). He has also written a textbook The Quantum Theory of Fields, Vol.I, Vol. II, and Vol. III (Cambridge).