At the Root of Things: The Subatomic World is a journey into the world of elementary particles-the basic constituents of all matter in the universe-and the nature of the interactions among them.
The book begins with a summary of pre-quantum physics and later tackles quantum physics, which is essential for the study of elementary particles. The book discusses the emergence of quantum theory from studies in heat radiation and the photoelectric effect as well as developments that led to the concept of duality between particles and waves. Also discussed is how quantum theory helped to better understand the structure of atoms and the discovery of particles that were not constituents of atoms, such as the positron and the muon.
Dozens of particles that were discovered experimentally in the 1950s and the 1960s are described along with fundamental particles-quarks and leptons. The book concludes with a discussion on fundamental interactions, the basic nature of quantum theories surrounding these interactions, and a discussion of how these interactions might be unified.
At the Root of Things: The Subatomic World is written in non-technical language making it accessible to a broad audience. It helps outsiders understand the subject in a non-mathematical manner and inspires them to learn more about this interesting field.
Palash B Pal is a senior professor at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kolkata. He was awarded a PhD from the Carnegie-Mellon University. Dr. Pal's research interests are in the area of particle physics. He has written various academic books, as well as popular-level books, and received the "Rabindra Smriti Puroskar" ("Rabindranath Tagore memorial prize") from the Government of West Bengal. He has authored nearly 100 academic papers.
Conservation Laws Preamble Conservation of Momentum Conservation of Angular Momentum Conservation of Electric Charge The Beginning of Chemistry Conservation of Energy The Danger The Synthesis Relativity Noether's Theorem Waves And Particles From Democritus to Dalton Newton, Huygens Young, Fresnel Maxwell Hertz, Lenard Planck Einstein Bose, Bohr de Broglie Jekyll, Hyde Insider's Story of The Atomland Dalton Mendeleev Thomson Rutherford Mosley Bohr Heisenberg Schroedinger Pauli In Short Smaller than the Atom Preamble Dirac Pauli Yukawa Rabi's question Lawrence's legacy Gell-Mann, Zweig Feynman Richter, Ting, Lederman An Elementary Consideration Destination Unification Behind the Apparent Beyond the Apparent Give and Take The Symmetries Old Wine in a New Bottle The "Colors" The Pictorial Description Subtle is the Lord The Unifying Hand Untied Knots, Unexplored Horizons Suggested Reading Index