The Infinity Puzzle

The Infinity Puzzle

Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for An Orderly Universe

Book - 2011
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Many mysteries of the atom have came unraveled, but one remains intractable- what Frank Close calls the "Infinity puzzle'. The problem was simple to describe. Although clearly very powerful, quantum field theory was making one utterly ridiculous prediction: that certain events had an infinite probability of occurring. The Infinity Puzzle charts the birth and life of the idea, and the scientists, who realized it. Based on numerous firsthand interviews and extensive research, this book captures an era of great mystery and greater discovery. Even if the Higgs boson is never found, renormalization- the pursuit of an orderly universe- has led to one of the richest and most productive intellectual periods in human history.--[book jacket]
"Speculation is rife that by 2012 the elusive Higgs boson will be found at the Large Hadron Collider. If found, the Higgs boson would help explain why everything has mass. But there's more at stake-what we're really testing is our capacity to make the universe reasonable. Our best understanding of physics is predicated on something known as quantum field theory. Unfortunately, in its raw form, it doesn't make sense-its outputs are physically impossible infinite percentages when they should be something simpler, like the number 1. The kind of physics that the Higgs boson represents seeks to "renormalize" field theory, forcing equations to provide answers that match what we see in the real world. The Infinity Puzzle is the story of a wild idea on the road to acceptance. Only Close can tell it"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780465021444
Branch Call Number: 530.143 C6452i 2011
Characteristics: xii, 435 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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KEVIN DOWD Sep 20, 2012

a great history of the people who built the standard model! a whos-who of early theoretical particle physics..

not so much math or details, little on the actual experiments.. too much on who was going to get the Nobel Prize.

I recall thou that people were yelling Salam! when Higgs was talked about when the particle was found... just as Salam himself yelled out his name when anyone mentioned Weinberg


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