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Particle Physics


Richard P. Feynman once said that doing elementary particle physics is a lot like banging two fine Swiss watches against each other and trying to figure out their workings by examining the debris. That was the challenge.

From My Life As A Quant by Emanuel Derman

Recommended Books:

  • A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey Into the Physics of the LHC by Gian Francesco Giudice
  • The Second Creation by Crease, Mann
  • Deep Down Things by Schumm
  • The Particle Odyssey by Close
  • Reminiscences: A Journey through Particle Physics by Adrian Melissinos


Recommended Textbooks:

  • Introduction to Elementary Particles by D. Griffith
  • An Introductory Course of Particle Physics by P. Pal
  • Quarks & Leptons by Halzen, Martin


The motto in this section is: the higher the level of abstraction, the better.

Why is it interesting?

“Often, this kind of physics is referred to as particle physics, which I don’t like,” Arkani-Hamed told me. “People get the mistaken impression that what we care about is the particles. The science is characterized like: What are things made of? What are the ultimate building blocks of matter? I hate that. That sounds a lot like chemistry, and it’s not like that at all. There are many, many more exciting things in nature than some random elementary particles.

“The reason we go to short distances isn’t to probe the building blocks of matter,” he went on. “It’s because for four hundred years fundamental physics has been on this trajectory of unifying seemingly disparate things. We’ve found that, as we understand more, apparently incredibly disparate phenomena turn out to be different aspects of a more surprising, more beautiful answer than we could have anticipated—and often even hoped for. This started with Newton, who realized that the force dragging the apple down was the same force holding the moon around the earth. It continued with the realization that electricity and magnetism are different aspects of the same thing. Relativity told us that space and time are different aspects of the same thing. There’s more and more unity in our understanding of nature. And we’ve seen, especially over the last hundred years, that the essential unity and the essential simplicity best reveal themselves at short-distance scales. So it’s not that we care about the particles. We care about the laws.”Crash Course by Elizabeth Kolbert published in the New Yorker

branches/particle_physics.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/11 12:07 by jakobadmin