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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 (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,062 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

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Can't go wrong buying this book!
Tom in northern California
As such, any person with a passing familiarity/interest in astronomy and particle physics will have no trouble reading and completely comprehending this book.
Jim
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Antimatter is one of the most intriguing discoveries in all of twentieth century Physics. The idea that there is material reality that is in some sense "opposite" to our own seems bizarre and almost occult. And yet, antimatter is very much real, albeit extremely hard to come by. All of what we see in the Universe is overwhelmingly made of the "regular" matter, and it took some highly sophisticated theoretical speculation coupled with extremely ingenious experimental work to convince the world of the reality of antimatter. For the past eighty plus years antimatter has been a subject of intense scientific research as well as the endless source of fascination in the works of popular science and science fiction. A big part of this fascination is due to the fact that antimatter could be used as a very effective and compact source of energy: a single gram of antimatter could release more energy than some of the early nuclear weapons. This feature of antimatter has made it a preferred choice for fueling intergalactic travel in Star Trek, the main destructive weapon in Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, as well as an explanation of the 1908 Tunguska explosion. In recent years there has been a lot of speculation even in the mainstream news sources that the US military is actively working on weaponizing antimatter.

Because of the antimatter's exotic nature that is nothing short of miraculous, it has often been very hard to separate the fact from fiction in all of the accounts of its properties.
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