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Antimatter Paperback – March 4, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0199578870 ISBN-10: 0199578877

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199578877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199578870
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A fascinating read on an exotic subject... Highly recommended." --CHOICE


"For all those wishing to take a closer look at the flip side of the visible world, this lucidly written book shines a bright light into a truly strange realm." --Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin


"The concept of antimatter is still strange, but it's far less opaque after a read through Oxford physicist Frank Close's compact, surprisingly unintimidating book."
--Seed


About the Author


Frank Close, OBE, is Professor of Physics at Oxford University and a Fellow of Exeter College. He was formerly vice president of the British Association for Advancement of Science and Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling Lucifer's Legacy, and the winner of the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics for his "outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics."

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Customer Reviews

Can't go wrong buying this book!
Tom in northern California
This book is to anyone interested in modern physics for the layman.
Amazon Customer
Interesting explanation and well crafted structure.
Andy kelsall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By David Nichols on July 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Physicist Frank Close offers a short but enlightening look at a frequently misunderstood aspect of physical reality in his book Antimatter. In about 150 pages, Close delivers a solid summary of the historical and current research into the nature of the tricky particles, especially the positron.

As a physics buff, albeit a non-technical one, Close's descriptions and narrative are easy to follow and not overly-detailed. He keeps close to his main points, explaining the nature of antimatter and exposing some of the latest experiments into its properties, without overburdening the reader with dense technical interjections. While I thought I understood antimatter prior to reading this book, Close provided a strong overview that supplements the understanding of most any popular physics reader, myself included.

Close explores many of the theories surrounding the symmetries between normal matter and antimatter, as well as offering some thoughts on why we might see a universe which appears to be largely devoid of antimatter. While a small handful of antimatter particles have been created in labs around the world, as well as a few dozen antihydrogen atoms, the mysterious lack of antimatter in the universe remains one of the questions needing a great deal of further research to explain. Close uses the Tunguska event to explore the possibility that a chunk of antimatter could have caused the currently unexplained explosion in 1908 (Close determines it was not antimatter, but leaves the question open until the latter chapters). The author also debunks most of the antimatter properties and usages found in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, as well as the idea that antimatter is likely to supplement traditional sources of energy found on the planet.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Janet C. Malone on September 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a superb book! The title is Antimatter, but don't be fooled: The book is about a lot more than antimatter. Prof. Close is a great physicist, and he has been involved with the LHC at CERN. His book explains everything in a perfectly clear and understandable way so that you understand the theory and the applications behind the work of CERN in general, and of the Large Hadron Collider. This is the best book on particle physics, written by a top scientist, and it is written in a style that makes it not only very clear--but also a lot of fun to read! The stories here are amazing!! Congratulations, Dr. Close!!
JCM
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tom in northern California on July 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Antimatter
Despite this book being on the "shorter" side, it's an excellent book -- well worth reading.

This book is written for the usual armchair scientist (no heavy math) but goes into enough details to be meaningful. In particular, this book explains Dirac's mathematical work in predicting antimatter ... from which one can really appreciate Dirac's mental genius.

Can't go wrong buying this book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JEK on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short book is a friendly, well written treatment of particle physics with special attention paid to anti-matter.

The last chapter (9) of the book "debunking" prospects for commercial or military use of anti-matter is fine, I guess, but seemed unnecessary - it did seem to make this otherwise charming book end on a lower plane.

The book is good if you like particle physics and are a layperson. If you want more, I suggest "Lightness of Being" by Wilczek (another physicist). Relatedly, the recent biography of Dirac (the theoretician) is also quite good: "The Strangest Man," by Farmelo.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on February 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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There exists a mirror world to our own--an anti-world, if you will, built from antiparticles (examples: anti-electron or positron, antiproton, antineutron) that form anti-atoms (example: anti-hydrogen), anti-molecules, and possibly even anti-life! Science fiction, you say? No, science FACT.

Welcome to the world of antimatter. We're given a tour of this anti-world by Frank Close, OBE (Order of the British Empire), a Professor of Physics at Oxford University and science author.

What is antimatter? In particle physics (which this book examines in detail), antimatter is the extension of the concept of the antiparticle to matter, where antimatter is composed of antiparticles in the same way that normal matter is composed of particles.

Close tells us about his slim book:

"One of my primary goals in this book will be to attempt to separate fact from fiction in the antimatter story...This book will tell the [true] story of antimatter, what it is, how it was discovered, how we can make it, and what opportunities and threats it could pose. It will assess the reality of antimatter as fuel for space odysseys and for weapons."

What happens when antimatter comes in contact with matter? Answer: annihilation! This simple fact, as Close explains, is used especially in medicine.

Finally, everything in this book is explained thoroughly. If you know what electrons, protons, and neutrons are then you should be able to understand this book. As with all books of this type, the more of a science background you have, the more you will enjoy this book.

In conclusion, this book inspires a sense of awe as it examines, what perhaps is, the strangest thing in the universe.
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