The legendary Isaac Asimov starts what is perhaps the finest of all his books with a simple query: How finely can a piece of matter be divided? But like many simple questions, this one leads readers on a far-flung quest for a final answer, a search that encompasses such fascinating phenomena as light and electricity and their components--strange ...
The legendary Isaac Asimov starts what is perhaps the finest of all his books with a simple query: How finely can a piece of matter be divided? But like many simple questions, this one leads readers on a far-flung quest for a final answer, a search that encompasses such fascinating phenomena as light and electricity and their components--strange but real bits of matter that challenge our assumptions about the very nature of time and space. 40 illustrations.
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Not many teachers can write a book which remains exciting from the start to finish by its clarity of expression. Asimov always keeps the reader able to understand any point he is making or explaining. I don't think there are many writers who do that so well. - He is the best science writer that there has been. This book is true to that.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-02-22 It takes our best science writers, plus readers current with the whimsical new language of particle physics, to keep up with the leapfrog pace of theory and observation today. Fortunately, Asimov does his part in this report on recent theoretical physics developments that includes just enough history to add human dimension to the latest discussions of the nature of matter. Missing here are the characteristic Asimov metaphors and asides, suggesting that, while juggling so many pure concepts at once, he chooses not to distract his readers. No matter, they will welcome this straightforward guide to the Alice-like world of down-quarks, muons, leptons and other subatomic particles--most of which are believed to exist but have not yet been seen. When information does start coming in from the supercollider, this will be a worthy book to have at hand. (Apr.)
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