Exploring Fundamental Particles  book cover
1st Edition

Exploring Fundamental Particles

ISBN 9781439836125
Published September 22, 2010 by CRC Press
291 Pages 138 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The search for the elementary constituents of the physical universe and the interactions between them has transformed over time and continues to evolve today, as we seek answers to questions about the existence of stars, galaxies, and humankind. Integrating both theoretical and experimental work, Exploring Fundamental Particles traces the development of this fascinating field, from the discoveries of Newton, Fermi, and Feynman to the detection of CP violation and neutrinos to the quest to observe the Higgs boson and beyond.

An Accessible yet In-Depth Account of How Fundamental Particles Shape Our World

The book first examines the experiments and theoretical ideas that gave rise to the standard model. It discusses special relativity, angular momentum, spin, the Dirac electron, quantum field theory, Feynman diagrams, Pauli’s neutrino, Fermi’s weak interaction, Yukawa’s pion, the muon neutrino, quarks, leptons, and flavor symmetry.

The authors then explain the violation of the symmetry between matter and antimatter, known as CP violation. They cover the discoveries of CP violation in the decays of kaons and B mesons as well as future experiments that could detect possible CP violation beyond the standard model.

In the next part, the authors present experimental results involving the once-mysterious neutrino. They explore the evidence that neutrinos have mass, new neutrino experiments in various countries, and the potential of neutrino astronomy to offer a new perspective on stars and galaxies.

The final section focuses on the one undetected particle of the standard model: the Higgs boson. The authors review the experiments that established important constraints on the mass of the Higgs particle. They also highlight recent experiments of the Tevatron particle accelerator at Fermilab, along with the near future impact of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the longer term impact of the International Linear Collider (ILC).

The Foundation for New Discoveries

A clear picture of the historic breakthroughs and latest findings in the particle physics community, this book guides you through the theories and experiments surrounding fundamental particles and the main forces between them. It sets the stage for the next transformation in modern science.

Table of Contents

GENESIS OF THE STANDARD MODEL: The Foundation of Modern Physics: The Legacy of Newton. Waves That Are Particles; Particles That Are Waves. Particles That Spin. Understanding Quantum Electrodynamics: Feynman to the Rescue. The Birth of Particle Physics: Pauli’s Neutrino, Fermi’s Weak Interaction, and Yukawa’s Pion. Learning to Live with Gell-Mann’s Quarks. Beautiful Symmetries Found and Lost. Emergence of the Standard Model. Flavor Physics. Our Current View of Nature’s Building Blocks: (What We Have Learned So Far). CP VIOLATION: THE ASYMMETRY BETWEEN MATTER AND ANTIMATTER: CP Violation in Kaon Decays. The Cabibbo–Kobayashi–Maskawa Matrix: CP Violation in the Standard Model. CP Violation with B Mesons. Checking the Standard Model: The Rho-Eta Plane. CP Violation: Where Do We Go from Here?. THE AMAZING STORY OF THE NEUTRINO: The Mystery of the Missing Neutrinos: Neutrino Oscillations. Neutrinos from the Sun. Neutrino Astronomy: A New Way to Study the Universe. Neutrino Mass and Physics beyond the Standard Model. CP Violation in Neutrino Mixing?. THE HUNT FOR THE MYSTERIOUS HIGGS: Why We Believe in the Higgs. What We Know from Experiment So Far. What We Hope to Learn from the LHC. Possibilities for the Future. Conclusion. Appendices.

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Lincoln Wolfenstein is professor emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University. He has made landmark contributions to the particle physics community, including his prediction and study of the influence of matter on neutrino oscillations, now known as the Mikheyev–Smirnov–Wolfenstein effect. Dr. Wolfenstein has been a recipient of the J.J. Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society and the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize of the Scientific Council of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna, Russia).

João P. Silva is a faculty member at the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa and works at the Centro de Física Teórica de Partículas. Dr. Silva was a Fulbright Scholar at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He also co-authored a research textbook on CP violation.


The authors are well qualified to undertake such an introduction to particle and high-energy physics in view of their theoretical and practical experience … For a clear and comparatively simple overview of the concepts, nomenclature and salient features of the Standard Model, this introductory text offers a wealth of information and can be recommended as a jumping off point for more detailed specialist study.
—Eric Sheldon, Contemporary Physics, 52, 2011