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A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC by Gian Francesco Giudice

By Gian Francesco Giudice

This ebook offers an easy and comprehensible advisor for appreciating the discoveries which are approximately to occur on the huge Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the world's biggest particle accelerator. A CERN physicist leads the lay reader into the realm of particle physics, from the wonderful technological techniques that have been essential to construct the LHC, throughout the speculative theories invented to explain the last word legislation governing the universe. the result's a rare trip contained in the cloth of topic, a thrilling experience within an odd and bewildering house, during which you can delight in the size of the highbrow revolution that's approximately to occur. Does the mysterious Higgs boson exist? Does area cover supersymmetry or expand into additional dimensions? How can colliding protons on the LHC liberate the secrets and techniques of the foundation of our universe? those questions are all framed after which addressed by way of a professional within the box. whereas making no compromises in accuracy, this state of the art fabric is gifted in a pleasant, available variety. The book's target is not only to notify, yet to provide the reader the physicist's feel of awe and pleasure, as we stand on the point of a brand new period in realizing the area during which all of us live.

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Sample text

In other words, an electron exerts an electromagnetic force on other charges by exchanging photons, but the photon emission does not modify the identity of the electron. Instead, the weak force has the property of transforming particles. In the process of exerting a weak force, the particle itself gets transformed. In particular, in beta radioactivity, a neutron that emits an electron–neutrino pair changes its identity and becomes a different particle – a proton. The second difference lies in the range at which the force can act.

This correctly explains its total mass and electric charge. The electrons occupy only orbits external to the nucleus and fill most of the space inside the atom. The discovery of the neutron had unexpected consequences. The Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard (1898–1964) recounts: “I remember very clearly that the first thought that liberation of atomic energy might in fact be possible came to me in October 1933, as I waited for the change of a traffic light in Southampton Row in London. . It occurred to me that neutrons, in contrast to alpha particles, do not ionize the substance through which they pass.

These droplets form a track that makes the particle trajectory visible, in much the same way that jet aeroplanes leave contrails in the sky. The mass of the particle can be inferred from the thickness of the track. The charge of the particle is measured by the bending of the track under the effect of a magnetic field. In 1936, Carl Anderson, the physicist who discovered the positron, and his student Seth Neddermeyer (1907–1988) were working at the California Institute of Technology, analysing cosmic rays with cloud chambers.

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