Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
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Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Winner of the Canadian Science Writers Association 2014 Science in SocietyBook Award
A Publishers Weekly Best Science Book of the Season
A Book to Watch Out For, The New Yorker’s Page-Turner Blog
A Los Angeles Times Gift Guide Selection
One of the Best Physics Books of 2013, Cocktail Party Physics Blog, Scientific American

Detective thriller meets astrophysics in this adventur...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Does a really impressive job distilling a complex concept into a readable text. Three favorite parts:

1) there's an undercurrent of resentment toward the big and expensive collider projects, which clearly get more money. Jayawardhana repeatedly talks about how much cheaper neturino hunting can be and how what they find is actually useful compared to CERN and things like that.

2) There's apparently a neutrino detection system at almost the South Pole, which consists of tubes buried really deep un...more
Excellent, lucid, engaging. The neutrino story is inherently fascinating to particle-physicist-manqué-me but the way Ray Jayawardhana handles the rhythms of the various theories, experiments and missteps -- not to mention his perfect pitch for just the most illuminating/winning anecdotes and quotations to share from a colourful cast of physicists -- should make this appeal to a much wider audience.
Joe AuBuchon
Most of the books I read have to do with Science Fiction/Fantasy, History, Mystery and Science - after all, I can't feed my brain pablum all the time). In high school I enjoyed physics and chemistry, but not the math that came with them. Arithmetic was fine, Algebra I and II and Geometry were awful. I stopped at Trig and never got into Calculus. There went my career as an astrophysicist or cosmologist, but the subjects still fascinate me.

Ray Jayawardhana talks about physics without the math, exc...more
Sarah Pybus
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. This isn't just a Science book! It manages to weave in human stories about Scientists with an interesting scientific narrative to make an absorbing read.
This is a brisk, fun, very interesting and well-written popular account of neutrino physics, the history of of the neutrino in physics, and the various experiments aimed at detecting these ghostly particles that pervade the universe and pass through us in untold numbers without interacting with the matter that make us up. The experiments described are wonderfully clever, and include nifty anecdotes such as the 10 tons of Roman-smelted lead from a 2000 year old shipwreck that became part of one e...more
I liked this book more for its up to date information (it was published at the end of 2013 and covers the latest developments) than for its explanations of some of the experiments. I understand that this is a book targeted at the layman, but sometimes a bit of detail will help in understanding some of the ideas. For instance, saying that an experiment will be improved by adding a bit of gadolinium without, at least, hinting at how this will be an improvement, is of limited use: you have some inf...more
Armand Daigle
3.5 stars.

Good informational resource on the background and timeline of neutrino science. Aside from a few concepts that were not explained as in depth as they should have been, this book is fairly readable for the average person. By the end, it almost behaves like a pitch to potential neutrino research investors, but the experimental observations and the scientists behind them shape this book into a compelling ride.
Feb 24, 2014 Harini rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I am no Physics nerd. But my fascination for particle theory, quantum theory, electromagnetic theory, super string theory etc. cant stop me from going for it. This book does it just right, by appealing to my other weakness - history. An upbeat history of neutrinos. With the chronology and general foundation Dr.Ray provides, I have prepared myself for a mind bend that the deeper tome by Heinrich Päs promises, on the same subject.
Marie Dafgard
I wish I could give a good reason for why this book took me so long to read. I read it all while at work, which can be tricky at times? It would take about ten pages for me to get into it each time I picked it up, even if I set it down for only a few minutes in between? Who knows. Anyway, another great book for the complicated and multi-layered nature of science and discovery that focuses specifically on neutrinos. I read it for a conference/workshop I'm going to in a week...but if you're intere...more
Robert Keck
I will admit science and physics and stuff like that is not my strong suit. I know this book held my interest so I would say it's as much about people and how they interact as all that stuff I don't understand. Quirky characters and humor goes a long way when it makes a book like this accessible to me.
I'm surprised to be the first reviewer here. Well, OK, books on the physics of subatomic particles probably don't hit the Goodreads demographic. This was surprisingly accessible and really pretty well done. Jayawardhana does a decent job at explaining the importance of understanding neutrinos, explaining what they are, and detailing the history of their exploration. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers...) and I've come to enjoy his narration...more
The world is a wild, wild place. While I don't pretend to understand modern particle physics, the way that the author wove clear explanations of complex math and physics with personal stories about the men and women who hunted down neutrinos was quite interesting.
I enjoyed the history, the competition and the personalities. I never understand the various physics particles, and why they "need" to exist, but the book is on a layman's level and I was never lost and with every try I feel I pick up a bit more.
Anders Nissen
Could have been a four star book, but lags a bit towards the end. Some very good and engaging descriptions of experiments and scientists, though!
really enjoyed this. very approachable history on neutrinos. wish i had more books like this when i was in school.
Peter Bistolarides
Very easy to read. Rekindled my interest in physics which I had when I was younger. I want to be a particle physicist!
Steve Gross
Fun romp through the history of the neutrino. I didn't know that the missing solar neutrino problem had been solved.
Neutrinos are weird. They might be their own anti-particles! That's weird. Jayawardhana told me stuff about neutrinos at the exact right level. He explained the theories while skipping the math, and told a good story.
Shivkumar Somasundaram
Absolutely loved this engaging history of the hunt to find the neutrino. Highly recommended!
Andrew Clinton
Great read. Perfect balance between science book and history book.
This is a great history of science book about the experimental hunt to detect neutrinos. It follows from the first detection experiments, to the solar neutrino problem, and its eventual solution. I felt like it ended abruptly with some post-free-model speculation.
Ivan Taylor
Very enjoyable book. Allowed me to converse knowledgeably with a neutrino physicist friend on mine.
John Gilreath
Nice introductory work.
Aaron Kent
This book was interesting. I thought it could use a companion interactive website to help us non scientifically versed cretins with some of the more advanced physics.
Apr 27, 2014 Maria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
great overview of neutrino science, complete with bits about different scientists throughout the ages.

the glossary in the back is alone worth the price of this book!!
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Ray Jayawardhana is a professor and the Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. Originally from Sri Lanka, he is a graduate of Yale and Harvard. He is the co-author of more than one hundred papers in scientific journals. His discoveries have made headlines worldwide, including in The Times, The Economist, Sydney Morning Herald, and BBC News, and have led t...more
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