on August 16, 2010
This is a short and good book for layman and also to students (college juniors too). It bring to us the intricacies of this strange matter and clarifies what is doing in atual research in this field. I find particularly interesting how Dirac solved the problem of find mathematical objects (matrixes)which are not zero but whose square is. There are some repetitions that are a little boring but I belive that the autor do this for pedagogical reasons. All in all, a good choice to the interested reader in the theme.
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. And remember:
DON'T SHAKE HANDS WITH AN ANTI-ALIEN!!
(first published 2009; foreword; 9 chapters; main narrative 150 pages; 2 appendices; endnotes; bibliography; index)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>