Particle Physics Brick by Brick: Atomic and Subatomic Physics Explained... in LEGO by Ben StillParticle Physics Brick by Brick: Atomic and Subatomic Physics Explained... in LEGO by Ben Still

Particle Physics Brick by Brick: Atomic and Subatomic Physics Explained... in LEGO

byBen Still

Paperback | March 21, 2018

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 125 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


A simple and entertaining introduction to the building blocks of the universe.

In 2014 the Lego® Group sold 62 billion Lego® pieces. That's 102 Lego® bricks for every person in the world. That's nothing however to the estimated seven billion billion billion atoms that make up each of us, let alone the between ten quadrillion vigintillion and one-hundred thousand quadrillion vigintillion atoms in the known observable universe.

Thankfully, understanding atomic and subatomic physics need not be infathomable. Lego® bricks are a great way to visualize the blueprint of the Universe, right down to its smallest elements.

Particle Physics Brick by Brick explains how and with what the universe came to be. It introduces the Standard Model of Physics, the "rule book" of physics which has been proven correct again and again since its mid-20 century development. Today, it is the gaps in the model that keep physicists busy.

In concise chapters, the book assigns to each atomic element a colored Lego® brick, such as neutrons, leptons, and quarks. By assembling actual or imaginary bricks and observing their relationships and interactions, particle physics becomes clear. The book opens with the Standard Model of Physics, the physicists and the discoveries made over history, and directions on how to use the book.

The chapters that follow are:

  • Building Blocks and Construction Rules
  • Building a Universe
  • Electromagnetism and QED (Quantum ElectroDynamics)
  • The Strong Force and QCD (Quantum ChromoDynamics)
  • The Weak Force and Breaking Symmetries
  • Broken Symmetry and Mass
  • Problems with Ghosts
  • Violated Symmetry
  • The Future.
  • Particle Physics Brick by Brick is a succinct introduction for anyone that wants to gain a basic understanding of the atomic world, its elements and how they interact. By using tangible substitutes -- bricks -- it brings the unseen atomic world into the realm of the visual.

    Dr. Ben Still is a scientist, science writer and educator, and author. He has a PhD in experimental particle physics, and his articles have been published in academic journals. His previous books include The Secret Life of the Periodic Table.
    Title:Particle Physics Brick by Brick: Atomic and Subatomic Physics Explained... in LEGOFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:176 pages, 9.25 × 7.5 × 0.5 inShipping dimensions:9.25 × 7.5 × 0.5 inPublished:March 21, 2018Publisher:Firefly BooksLanguage:English

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

    ISBN - 10:0228100127

    ISBN - 13:9780228100126


    Editorial Reviews

    Spend a few hours perusing these pages and you'll be in a much better frame of mind to understand your place in the cosmos... The astronomically large objects of the universe are no easier to grasp than the atomically small particles of matter. That's where Ben Still comes in, carrying a box of Legos. A British physicist with a knack for explaining abstract concepts... He starts by matching the weird properties and interactions described by the Standard Model of particle physics with the perfectly ordinary blocks of a collection of Legos. Quarks and leptons, gluons and charms are assigned to various colors and combinations of plastic bricks. Once you've got that system in mind, hang on: Still races off to illustrate the Big Bang, the birth of stars, electromagnetism and all matter of fantastical-sounding phenomenon, like mesons and beta decay. "Given enough plastic bricks, the rules in this book and enough time," Still concludes, "one might imagine that a plastic Universe could be built by us, brick by brick." Remember that the next time you accidentally step on one barefoot.