Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty Of Particle Physics (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/10/20
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
"A fascinating journey into the bizarre, subatomic world of particle physics."--PhysOrg.com
"Explores the world of particle physics in terms laymen can understand. "--Santa Cruz Sentinel
"I expect that any physics undergraduate, bewildered by textbooks and lectures, would find this a delight."--Stephen Battersby "New Scientist "
"One of several recently published books attempting to provide for interested nonphysicists a relatively nonmathematical account of what has come to be called the standard model of particle physics... Schumm's treatment is perhaps more detailed."--Choice
"Quantum field theory, group theory, Lie algebras, internal symmetry spaces and gauge theory. [Schumm] does a remarkably good job of explaining all this, with a style that is mercifully plain. "--Peter de Groot "New Scientist "
"This book is beautifully written and is a didactic masterpiece."--David Watts "Science and Christian Belief "
"This is definitely a book for your Christmas list, and if it doesn't excite your mathematics colleagues too, they'll miss a treat."--Rick Marshall "School Science Review "
Bruce A. Schumm is a professor of physics at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
|星5つ 72% (72%)||72%|
|星4つ 15% (15%)||15%|
|星3つ 3% (3%)||3%|
|星2つ 4% (4%)||4%|
|星1つ 6% (6%)||6%|
The subject is tackled in layers, gradually increasing in richness and complexity, but without excessive/tedious repetition of previously covered material.
The book was published prior to the confirmation of the Higgs, but it still covers its background and role, and it does it better than the majority of post-Higgs material that I've read.
This is an author able and eager to communicate the deep down things to the rest of us.
There are a couple of typos that editing should have caught, but the only real quibble I have is the kindle edition suffers from dropped symbols and truncated notes, but not enough to drop the overall rating.
That being said the author explains very well the most abstract concepts of elementary particles. He works gradually but persistently to that one goal: the unified theory on electric, weak and strong forces. He deliberately skips parts which are very interesting, gravitons for example, but would spoil the coherence of the matter described in this book. What he writes down feels rock solid. It makes indeed clear what a grand achievement physics has made since let's say 1870.
For me it was an eye opener how deceptively simple the basics are for this theory. Of course, the mathematical exercises to get it all proven and correct are far beyond my comprehension but after reading this book the concepts are crystal clear to me. In a matter of days my understanding has grown immensely.
I highly recommend this book.
Review for the condition of book: All good EXCEPT back cover has a big cut, apparently by some kind of blade as it is sharp & straight.
I've read books like Brian Green's Elegant Universe and Susskind's Theoretical Minimum: Classical Mechanics. But this book does not overlap with the two aforementioned famous books in the main points, particularly on gauge theory and gives more comprehensive information on gauge theory in detail from the scratch. In fact, in my opinion, I think, it doesn't overlap with Modern Physics in the physics department curriculum. The author starts right with modern quantum mechanics rather than with Rutherford's scattering and Bohr's atom model as many general science books do. He guides us rapidly into quantum field theory.
One of the merits of this book is that after you read it, you might be able to understand, at least to your own taste, the key words in physical literature like quantum field theory, non-Abelian gauge theory, spin of a particle, isospin, quantization of fields, gauge invariant, coupling strength, the symmetry groups U(1), SU(2), SU(3), Feynman diagram, renormalization, Higgs mechanism, etc. I really appreciate the author for that. In particular, the explanation about the meaning of being invariant under symmetry and renormalization was extremely beautiful.
I'd like to share these with the Amazon readers, some good and bad points and some curious points according to page orders.
1. On page 28 and 29, the author figuratively explains why the overall phase is irrelevant. I think the example is confusing. "However, he cannot believe that you went to all the trouble to measure and report the phase to him (p29)" I don't understand this sentence and around it.
2. Pages 74 and 75's explanation of the Feynman's interpretation of antimatter as a matter travelling backward in time was beautiful and amazing. I majored in physics in a university, but as far as I remember, I've never seen this easy and concrete explanation of Feynman's interpretation (about twenty years have passed since I learned physics. So it might be possible that I've already seen it. ^_^).
3. On page 166, it reads "Mathematically, they (R(3) and SU(2)) are the same. This epiphany is almost, but not quite, correct" But this sentence is also confusing. Mathematically, they are not the same. I hope the author writes the second edition (I really hope so because if some points are improved, then this book would be a classic in this area like Brian Green's Elegant Universe) and replace the sentence with "Mathematically, they are almost the same."
4. On page 181, the author teaches us that "... you can't very well ... measure its spin by watching it turn in a circle about its axis. The best you can do is ... the direction of magnetic field ... determine the projection of the particle's spin along that axis". Sentences like these were helpful to me with the understanding about what working physicists do in laboratories.
5. On page 184 and 185, it says that the set of operations that change the spin-projection probabilities of a spin-1/2 particle is SU(2) since the wave function has a complex value at each point of space-time. But I don't understand this part.
6. Here is I mostly want to know more clearly. On page 196 and afterwards, the author explains the representations of the Lie group R(3) and SU(2). But what exactly does he mean by the representation of a Lie group? I think if something is a representation of another thing, then the first thing has many aspects of the latter. But I don't understand how just a few finitely many points in the line and the plane can be called a representation of such big groups.
7. On page 202, the author explains why particles of any given representation have almost the same mass. But it is also confusing. Why is the binding energy the sole (I mean unique) property that determines mass? How should we think about the masses of quarks themselves? In the middle of page 306, there is a similar argument. By the same reason, it is hard to understand.
8. On page 283 and 284, it explains the Weinberg's model. But the symmetry group of the model is not so clear. Is it U(1) direct sum SU(2)? Or the model must satisfy U(1) and SU(2) independently? What is the number of cheating terms? 3? 4?
Or do we have two equations such that one has 3 cheating terms and the other has one cheating terms? In what respect is the SU(2) model of Weinberg's different from the SU(2) that was introduced in earlier chapters?
9. This time I'd like to say one of the merits of this book. On page 289, it is explained how electrons interact with each other at high energy beginning to show weak-force interaction. This seems very original to me and I didn't know such a beautiful fact. Aside this, there are many passages having this kind of merits.
10. On page 304, it shows how quanta acquire their mass by Higgs mechanism. But I think this was not so satisfactory. Suppose the nature chooses the lower component of Higgs doublet as the Higgs field. According to this book, the leftover neutral component is the one that has developed the Higgs field. And it says that the leftover component can deviate the Higgs field. How does anything deviate from itself? It's difficult to understand. And after reading this book, I found that I still don't understand how matter particles acquire their mass by Higgs mechanism. The masses of matter particles are already there in the Schroedinger equation, so in my opinion, any gauge symmetry or cheating term or introducing any other field can not determine the masses.
11. At the second sentence from the end of page 313, it reads "If the W- forms minimal interaction vertices solely with right-handed particles, the forward-to-backward ratio will be two to one". But why two to one? Isn't it right to say that the ratio will be one (any number) to zero because there would be no particle moving backward?
As I said, if in the second edition, all the points above are reasonably established to non-physicist readers, I'll genuinely recommend this book to anyone I meet in my mathematical society.
and the Standard Model, and wanted to understand the mathematics found in actual textbooks,
as opposed to popularizations that skim the surface with simple analogies but provide no depth.
The problem with textbooks, of course, is that they're the other extreme: obliterating levels
of depth but very little background on the concepts used.
In particular, very few books I've read cover the basic mathematical ideas used to construct
the theories, and do so in a manner that allows readers of all levels to climb aboard
and/or skim based on their level of experience.
This book does that, and does it well. It covers topics such as:
- groups, in particular Lie groups and Lie "algebras" and what they are
- symmetry (i.e. what it _really_ means in physics, not just handwaving about mirror reflections and rotations)
- what U(1), SU(2), and SU(3) stand for, and how they're used
- gauge theories, including non-Abelian (non-commutative) theories
- Feynman diagrams and interaction vertices, and their relationship to gauge terms in the Standard Model
- the approaches used to develop the pieces of the Standard Model (electromagnetic, electroweak, strong)
- what hidden/broken symmetry is, and how the Higgs particle/potential fits in
All this and more, in a thorough, approachable style with useful analogies that help you latch onto
the actual math used in physics. The way everything is put together here, step by step, gives the
reader a real sense of how the Standard Model, for all its flaws and dependence on constants
derived from experiment, is not merely a collection of random bits of group theory, but is actually
a delineation of All There Can Be (apart from gravity, of course, which we're still working on).
About the only piece of physics terminology the book doesn't name-check is the "commutator relation"
[A,B] = AB - BA, which is basically another name for the Lie "algebra" defining the non-commutativity
of the generators of a Lie group, which this book _does_ describe, and very lucidly. And I only
bring it up because "the commutator" is often mentioned in advanced physics, but _never_ defined
as clearly as it is here, even if only indirectly, so making this link would only add to the book's
value to a newcomer.
So, to sum up, this book is well worth reading if you're interested in having a real understanding
for the math behind the Standard Model, and particle physics in general, presented in a style that
is thorough but nevertheless approachable, regardless of your background.