by Frank Close
Antimatter explores a strange mirror world, where particles have identical yet opposite properties to those that make up the familiar matter we encounter everyday; where left becomes right, positive becomes negative; and where, should matter and antimatter meet, the two annihilate in a blinding flash of energy that makes even thermonuclear explosions look feeble by comparison.
It is an idea long beloved of science-fiction stories - but here, renowned science writer Frank Close shows that the reality of antimatter is even more fascinating than the fiction itself.
We know that once, antimatter and matter existed in perfect counterbalance, and that antimatter then perpetrated a vanishing act on a cosmic scale that remains one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
Today, antimatter does not exist normally, at least on Earth, but we know that it is real for scientists are now able to make small pieces of it in particle accelerators, such as that at CERN in Geneva. Looking at the remarkable prediction of antimatter and how it grew from the meeting point of relativity and quantum theory in the early 20th century, at the discovery of the first antiparticles, at cosmic rays, annihilation, antimatter bombs, and antiworlds, Close separates the facts from the fiction about antimatter, and explains how its existence can give us profound clues about the origins and structure of the universe.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 176 pages, 10 b&w line drawings
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 07/01/2010
- Category: Popular science
- ISBN: 9780199578870
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Review by CharlesFerdinand
If you want to find out about antimatter, but you don't have the background in physics and mathematics to deal with the heavy stuff, this is the book for you. In a very clear and readble style (sometimes even too chatty for my liking) Frank Close gives a great overview of the question (and some criticism of Dan Brown). It reads like a thriller.