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Gerard 't Hooft

In Search of the ultimate building blocks

In Search of the ultimate building blocks by Gerard 't Hooft gives a concise look at the development of particle physics at the end of the 20th century. The first few chapters give a simple introduction to some of the basics of modern physics, but I don't think that this is a book for the complete beginner, since it quickly moves on to more advanced material. Although this is dealt with in a non-technical way, I feel that there isn't enough detail for a reader without at least a little previous knowledge of the subject.

't Hooft looks at the state of particle physics in the 1960's and describes how it moved forward during the next few decades, including his own contributions to the field. He looks at the development of the 'Standard Model' and shows how its predictions were bourne out in experimental discoveries. He covers a large range of subjects in this short book - magnetic monopoles, grand unification and technicolor, to name but a few. If you want a quick tour of how particle physics has developed and where it may be going, then this book by a well known expert in the subject is well worth reading.

Product Description
From 1960 until 1990 theoretical physicists and experimentalists worked together to probe deeper and deeper into the basic structure of matter, moving closer to an understanding of the ultimate building blocks of the universe. Gerard 't Hooft was closely involved in many of the advances in modern theoretical physics that led to improved understanding of elementary particles, and this is a first-hand account of one of the most creative and exciting periods of discovery in the history of physics. Using language a layperson can understand, this narrative touches on many central topics and ideas, such as quarks and quantum physics; supergravity, superstrings and superconductivity; the Standard Model and grand unification; eleven-dimensional space time and black holes. This fascinating personal account of the past thirty years in one of the most dramatic areas in twentieth-century physics will be of interest to professional physicists and physics students, as well as the educated general reader with an interest in one of the most exciting scientific detective stories ever.