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Neutrino

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Neutrinos are as near to nothing as anything we know, and so elusive that they are almost invisible. Frank Close tells the story of the neutrino, explaining their growing significance, and looking at how neutrino astronomy is at the threshold of enabling us to look into distant galaxies and to finding echoes of the Big Bang.
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published December 9th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published October 14th 2010)
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Zofwonderthemighty
As expected, I was completely out of my element here. Too much Science. However, I understood enough of it to see what was going on. Kind of. Here's brief outline.
Neutrinos are byproducts of beta decay, a type of radioactivity were mass turns into energy or something. So these scientists were examining this and they found that something was wrong- their was some particles missing from the transformation. Paulis, a scientist back then (early to mid-20th century) had an idea that there was a massl
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Dale
The neutrino is a pesky critter: nearly impossible to detect and changing flavor at the drop of a hat. Enrico Fermi and Bruno Pontecorvo were the first to realize that neutrinos must exist (based on conservation of spin), but it was to be a long time from those first conjectures to the first definitive detection of a neutrino. There are actually three flavors of neutrino (corresponding to the three leptons: electrons, muons, and tau particles), plus their anti-neutrino counterparts. It turns out ...more
Randy
Only two chapters in.. but Close is immediately, obviously a wonderful story teller.

This is (apparently) the story of Wolfgang Pauli, he of the Exclusion Principle, and Ray Price. Pauli for being the visionary who realized neutrinos must exist. Price for being the experimentalist who observed them, after decades of effort, and in the face of much naysaying.

I'm very pleased with the depth of the science, and also the lack of math and higher physics. It's an easy read, yet very informative.
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Supreeth
Neutrino is one of those books which you go on reading solely for the purpose of finishing it. Though the book starts off on a very exciting and promising note, it goes on to bore you with its technical and irrelevant details. But if you're somebody who's extremely passionate about Neutrino astronomy or someone who would do anything to satiate one's curiosity, this is the right book for you.. But on the bright side, the book has a lot to offer. The language is clear, lucid and the author is succ ...more
Andy Iverson
This books narrates the story of how we know what we currently know about neutrinos. As a byproduct, it also teaches exactly what it is we know about neutrinos. This was an easy-to-read book, which is quite an accomplishment for such a sciency piece of work. There was no math or anything. I was honestly a bit disappointed that it didn't go very in-depth on any complex concepts, especially the weak force and symmetry breaking (it essentially says "some people found out symmetry breaks"). But that ...more
Noah Soudrette
I picked up this book because of all the recent news about the possibility of faster-than-light Neutrinos. I had decided to read all I could about them. About two years ago I had begun reading Frank Close's book on antimatter and in looking at his bibliography saw he had a book on Neutrinos. Since his book is the only non-textbook about said particle, my choice was simple. This slim volume is cleanly written and a relatively easy read for the layman. There were only a few times where I became ad ...more
Andy Love
This is a short book, but a comprehensive one, covering the initial conceptualization of neutrinos, the original attempts to actually detect such an evasive particle and the incredible improvements in detection in the modern era that have validated our models of the solar interior and the details of supernova explosions, and may provide new insights into gamma ray bursts and the core of the Milky Way. It's both interesting and inspiring to read about the immense effort involved in discovering ne ...more
Delson Roche
Fast to read, easy to read and even without a science background, one can pretty much catch up with everything. Very well written.
Rachel
A great work of popular science writing, just the right level of depth. Close tells the story of the elementary particle known as the neutrino and the many scientists who studied it. At its least interesting, it reads like particularly friendly physics textbook. I most enjoyed reading about the one most dramatic experiment in neutrino history, which involved building massive tanks of cleaning fluid in the deepest caverns of abandoned mines to detect neutrinos emitted from the Sun while eliminati ...more
Zoffix Znet
As other books by Frank Close, this one shines as a chunk of purest gold. The book elucidates incredible perseverance and belief of key individuals who played role in the discovery of a neutrino (the subatomic particle). You are taken on an exciting journey that begins with Wolfgang Pauli proposing neutrinos and, reflecting onto how elusive they are, offering a case of champagne to anyone who finds them. Over the course of the book, the neutrino gets found, the champagne gets delivered, and the ...more
Gabriel
This was a nice, brisk survey of the history of neutrino physics up through about 2005. It does not include any discussion of the most recent innovations in the field - hints for non-zero theta-13, plans for untangling the mass hierarchy or hunting for CP violation, etc. - but it is easily timely enough for the interested lay-person or even students in the field. The book is fast-paced and lucid, though as a professional physicist it is hard for me to really gauge its accessibility.
aimee
Yay!

Frank Close does a pretty good job of explaining not only what neutrinos are (remarkably strange little critters), but also how they came to be posited and proven, over the space of decades.

And in telling the story of the neutrino, he also ably tells the story of the scientists behind it, including at least one unexpected (well, when he set out to write the book) protagonist.

Thoroughly recommended. I'm going to be seeking out more of his work...
Upom
Considering the recent discovery of faster-than-light neutrinos, it seemed like a good idea to brush up on the subject. A concise and clear guide to the neutrino, and the men who discovered this particle. Though it profiles these brilliant men, biography does not get in the way of explaining the discovery process and science of these mysterious particles. I was also surprised to find out how many Italians there were in particle physics.
Madison
I really enjoyed this concise explanation of what neutrinos are and how we came to know about them. My favorite snippet of the book was an interaction between the neutrino scientists and nuclear power plant managers, with the people at the power plant insisting that no neutrinos escape the plant, believing the scientists are enquiring about an environmental contaminant instead of a harmless particle.
Rachael
A quick tour through the history of neutrino theory and experimentation, as well as a forward look. Close gets lightly into the physics, some of the odd side stories of the characters involved and descriptions of the experiments. Not a heavy duty book by any means, but does touch on nucleosynthesis, some basics of weak interactions and tries to describe neutrino oscillations.
David Fernandes
Frank Close wrote a tribute to the scientists and institutions that made an one century quest through Radioactivity, the Sun and Particle Physics in order to reveal the nature of the neutrino. With a free of scientific jargon and a captivating narrative, "Neutrino" unveils the mysteries of a particle essential to understand our Universe.
Robert
Narrow topic, but an interesting book, especially the frustratingly long effort to reconcile observed electron neutrinos from the Sun with reality. Has a rather repetitive recap at the end that ends up recapping some of the recap which rather bogged things down. I definitely know more about neutrinos than I did before though.
Laura
Only about two chapters in, but this book pulled me in like no non-fiction book ever has before. I look forward to each pages turning. fascinating.

UPDATE: Finished this book, and wow! It was incredibly well written, concise, and informative. Fun to read, even though it was all sciency, and easy to understand.
Barry Alexander
More of a concise history of the people involved with the discovery and formulation of theories of neutrinos. The detail is either going to be appreciated or bother as it can be quite dry sometimes. Never the less I enjoyed learning more about neutrinos and path taken to understanding them.
Julian Onions
A very good summary of all that's known about neutrinos, which turns out to be not a whole lot. There is still so much we don't know about them, and in spite of their brief time in the limelight last year when they seemed to be breaking the rules, they are still very mysterious.
Chris
An engrossing and entertaining history of the invention and discovery of the neutrino. As with most "popular" books about science, clarity would have improved with a little mathematics, but that is prohibited by the publishers of these works, alas.
James
I enjoyed the book and like many people found it to be short, concise and very readable. I did not find the book to be overly technical or require a degree in physics to follow the story. Quite an impressive particle to pass through matter.
Alan Dean
This is a wonderful walk through the story of the neutrino. Not very dense on maths or the physics, it could be read and enjoyed by most most readers with even a passing interest in physics.
Ikiryo
Very clear and comprehensible insight into the world of neutrinos, how they were first discovered and the amazing journey that led to its introduction into the standard model of physics.
Gary
As per usual close's books are short, informative and excellently written. If you have any interest in neutrinos or physics in general you should get this book and enjoy!
BakuDreamer
Didn't read all of this as there's a NOVA documentary about it coming ~

( when back and read it, good to read right after Seife's book )
Bruce
A bit thin on both science and story telling for 4 stars, but the book fills a larger than neutrino sized gap in the literature.
Steve
Pretty good look at the long history of the search for elusive Neutrino. An interesting read.
Jrohde
Well written, very clear, a relief to read after a clutch of disappointing books.
Gendou
A concise history of the discovery of the neutrino and its properties.
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Francis Edwin Close (Arabic: فرانك كلوس)

In addition to his scientific research, he is known for his lectures and writings making science intelligible to a wider audience.

From Oxford he went to Stanford University in California for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. In 1973 he went to the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire and then to CERN in Switzerland fro
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More about Frank Close...
Antimatter Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction Nothing: A Very Short Introduction The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe The Void

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