The Infinity Puzzle: How The Hunt To Understand The Universe Led To Extraordinary Science, High Politics, And The Large

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The Infinity Puzzle: How The Hunt To Understand The Universe Led To Extraordinary Science, High Politics, And The Large

by Frank Close

Knopf Canada | November 29, 2011 | Hardcover |

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We are living in a Golden Age of physics. With the mind of a scientist and the skill of a journalist, bestselling author and renowned physicist Frank Close gives us an insider''s look at one of the most inspiring - and challenging - scientific breakthroughs of our time: the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

About 40 years ago, 3 brilliant, yet little-known scientists made breakthroughs that later inspired the construction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva: a 27-kilometre-long machine which has already cost $10 billion, taken 20 years to build and now promises to reveal how the universe itself came to be. The Infinity Puzzle is the inside story of those 40 years of research, breakthrough and endeavour. The work of Peter Higgs, Gerard ''t Hooft and James Bjorken is explored here, played out across the decades against a backdrop of high politics, low behaviour and billion-dollar budgets. In The Infinity Puzzle, eminent physicist and award-winning author Frank Close writes from within the action and draws upon his close friendships with those involved.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.18 in

Published: November 29, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307399818

ISBN - 13: 9780307399816

Found in: Science and Nature

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The Infinity Puzzle: How The Hunt To Understand The Universe Led To Extraordinary Science, High Politics, And The Large

The Infinity Puzzle: How The Hunt To Understand The Universe Led To Extraordinary Science, High Politics, And The Large

by Frank Close

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.18 in

Published: November 29, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307399818

ISBN - 13: 9780307399816

Read from the Book

Amsterdam, 1971 And now I introduce Mr. ’t Hooft, who has a theory that is at least as elegant as anything we have heard before. —Tini Veltman, “amsterdam international conference on elementary particles,” 1971 Tini Veltman is a contrarian: a forthright man who has never shied away from controversy. His single-mindedness has brought him success where others either gave up or didn’t even dare to try. It is the characteristic that set him on course to a Nobel Prize for Physics. Part of the reason for his triumph was the fortune to have a student whose genius was in constructing a masterpiece by using tools that Veltman had forged. Veltman and his protege, Gerard ’t Hooft, are like chalk and cheese. Veltman is a big man, with a fulsome beard, often found with a cigar stuck in the corner of his mouth or waved between his fingers as he holds court. His near-perfect English resonates with Dutch vowels as he dismisses some rival’s work as “baloney” or “crap.” This blunt approach can mislead, obscuring a sensitive and thoughtful personality, with deeply held convictions about the way science should be conducted. His nickname,  “Tini”—an abbreviation of Martinus—is ironic given his stature, in all senses of the word.   ’t Hooft, by contrast, slight in build, with thinning hair, dressed smartly in jacket and tie, and with a small mustache, could easily be mistaken for an English co
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From the Publisher

We are living in a Golden Age of physics. With the mind of a scientist and the skill of a journalist, bestselling author and renowned physicist Frank Close gives us an insider''s look at one of the most inspiring - and challenging - scientific breakthroughs of our time: the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

About 40 years ago, 3 brilliant, yet little-known scientists made breakthroughs that later inspired the construction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva: a 27-kilometre-long machine which has already cost $10 billion, taken 20 years to build and now promises to reveal how the universe itself came to be. The Infinity Puzzle is the inside story of those 40 years of research, breakthrough and endeavour. The work of Peter Higgs, Gerard ''t Hooft and James Bjorken is explored here, played out across the decades against a backdrop of high politics, low behaviour and billion-dollar budgets. In The Infinity Puzzle, eminent physicist and award-winning author Frank Close writes from within the action and draws upon his close friendships with those involved.

About the Author

FRANK CLOSE is professor of theoretical physics at Oxford University, dean of Graduate Studies and fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He has been fellow of the Institute of Physics since 1991, and was awarded the Institute''s Kelvin Medal for his contributions to the Public Understanding of Physics. He was formerly the head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and head of communications and public education at CERN. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling Lucifer''s Legacy. His other books include Antimatter, Neutrino, The Cosmic Onion, Apocalypse When?, Too Hot to Handle and The Particle Odyssey.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Infinity Puzzle : “It is a pleasure to read a book on recent advances in our understanding of the structure of matter by an author who not only understands the subject but also takes care to investigate conflicting accounts of how these advances came about.” —Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Physics, The University of Edinburgh   “As someone who can deftly explain abstruse quantum field theory to a lay reader, Frank Close is a rarity among physicists. Rarer still, he knows how to weave a compelling tale—that of the ‘infinity problem,’ which has bedeviled the field of quantum electrodynamics and subsequent attempts to unify the forces of nature. The result is a great scientific whodunit, replete with a large, engaging cast of characters, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, and unexpected twists and turns. Here is proof that Close belongs among the very first rank of scientist-authors. I strongly recommend The Infinity Puzzle .” —Steve Nadis, co-author of The Shape of Inner Space   “The development of quantum field theory is among the very greatest achievements of humankind, on par with those of Einstein, Newton and Darwin. Frank Close introduces these difficult ideas with a rare clarity and simplicity.  Anyone who wants to understand why we built the LHC and what we hope to learn from it should read this book.” —Dan Hooper, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and University of
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