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The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything
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The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  310 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
No one is more successful than this author when it comes to making the cutting edge of physics more accessible to a broad lay audience. In Schrodinger's Kittens, he took readers to the eerie world of subatomic particles & waves. Now, he explores the most exciting area of research in physics today: string theory. Following a series of major breakthroughs in the 1990s, p ...more
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Published November 29th 2009 by Back Bay Books (first published 1998)
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Rachael
Feb 07, 2012 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gribbin moves from a brief introduction to quantum mechanics, through basic ideas in particle physics, to the search for supersymmetry and the appeal of string theory. The focus is unsurprisingly on the quest for unification, after an initial puzzling proliferation of discoveries series of particles. This short book provides the necessary background to appreciate the significance of what is being investigated in supercolliders, including CERN and the ATLAS project, looking for the important Higg ...more
kevin
Mar 25, 2010 kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a more serious science book for layman, e.g., not an easy read. The latter comment does not imply it is hard to follow though. The framework is laid out very nicely explaining how the physicists came up with concepts one after another, eventually leading to quantum physics, and from there start discovering atomic/subatomic-level particles and building up mathematical relationships and validating their mathematics with particle accelerators, with the ultimate aim of explaining the unifyin ...more
Priscilla
Jan 22, 2011 Priscilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great interweaving of the historical framework of physics research with more "technical" details/information. Great introduction to individual particles and subparticles, the evolution of how they are defined, and how they are thought to be constructed. Got a little too fast, for me, when the book got to field theory - would have liked the chapters on larger theories to be as complete in description as were the sections on the "objects" of the quantum world. One of the best science books I've re ...more
Cathy
Aug 17, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is the 2nd physics book I ever read, and I just finished up my re-read of it. I know its old material now, but I wanted to ease my way back into physics.
Gribbin does a good job of brushing through a brief history of particle physics, from its beginning with wave-particle duality up through the surge of string theory in the 90s. Im not sure how it reads to a non-science person... But I have a love/hate feeling with the lack of math. He touches on the major points and what they ultimately en
...more
Catherine
Dec 16, 2012 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for anyone who wants to get a cursory but good overview of quantum mechanics, its relationship to classic Newtonian physics, and its implications for how we understand the universe. Gribbin writes in an informal but erudite style, and he inserts the difficult equations only when necessary and to prove a point. I usually find that books written for non-physicists like me tend to be patronizing and long-winded, so this book was refreshing. Also, it's short enough and has enoug ...more
sheena
Jun 04, 2010 sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-japan
Gribbin does an awesome job making physics heartbreaking, relevant and accessible for all of us who just can't get it. And he's not even that mathy or impossible about the whole ordeal!

After reading this, could I explain super-symmetry to a nine year old? No. But maybe you would be able to.

And for what's worth, the historical snippets of the lives of various physicists who who were hungry for some unified theory are fascinating.
White
Aug 31, 2009 White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book when the news of superstrings made its way into the commons. This one is bordering on a mathematical appeal but it is still easy enough to understand. The famous split experiment of particles and waves is referred to in here and the connection to superstrings being at the foundation of everything that exists takes center stage in this book.

I loved this book. It goes a bit further than some in half the pages.
Doug Barg
Jan 18, 2013 Doug Barg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This is the second book by Gribbin I've read. While avoiding overstatement or manufactured emotion, he has a talent for eliciting the drama from the trajectory of scientific exploration. At the same time he simplifies extremely advanced concepts into accessible explanations without becoming either patronizing or didactic. After completing the book, I re-visited the CERN LHC website, and was delighted to find I had a much more profound understanding of the research there.
Jeff
Jun 24, 2013 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't think I ever read it entirely. Got this in August 2001 at the Discovery Store in Baltimore after the Blue Stars season ended, parting with Davonna, and before heading to the airport with mom & dad.
Diddier
Sep 03, 2013 Diddier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love science books. This one talks about quantum particles, but does it in a language that any mortal can understand. One of my favorite books.
Yohanes Nugroho
Jan 15, 2008 Yohanes Nugroho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
About half of the book is easy to read, but the rest is just too complex for me (Physics is not my major). Very interesting book.
Sadia Maqsood
Feb 27, 2011 Sadia Maqsood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who is into quantum mechanics, this book gives you a time line of advancements in the field. was totally engrossed in it.
laura
May 22, 2007 laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popsci
some popsci is absolute crap. this, however, is not. also, the cover is totally beautiful.
Aina
Dec 12, 2010 Aina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great particle physics book, loving it! Wow, such a well written book, difficult subjects of particle physics and attempts to build a grand unified theory are explained so well.
Matt
Oct 17, 2008 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly accessible for the lay-physicist-wannabes in all of us.
Elio Nakouzi
One of the more accessible books on this matter.
Luke
Oct 14, 2013 Luke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intense book... Kind of like going down the rabbit hole. Blew my mind!
Diane
Jul 03, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
fascinating read.
Kathleen
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Aug 10, 2007
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John R. Gribbin is a British science writer, an astrophysicist, and a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex. The topical range of his prolific writings includes quantum physics, biographies of famous scientists, human evolution, the origins of the universe, climate change and global warming. His also writes science fiction.

John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor's degree in phy
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