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Atom
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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Matter
Dividing Matter
Elements
Atomism Triumphant
The Reality of Atoms
The Differences Among Atoms
Chapter Two: Light
Particles and Waves
The Four Phenomena
Combining the Phenomena
Extending the Spectrum
Dividing Energy
Chapter Three: Electrons
Dividing Electricity
Cathode-Ray Particles
X Rays
Electrons and Atoms
Electrons and Quanta
Waves and Particles
Chapter Four: Nuclei
Probing the Atom
Positively Charged Particles
Atomic Numbers
Spectral Lines
Chapter Five: Isotopes
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Varieties
Half-Lives
Stable Nuclear Varieties
Chapter Six: Neutrons
Protons and Electrons
Protons and Neutrons
Nuclear Reactions
Artificial Isotopes
Chapter Seven: Breakdowns
Mass Defect
Nuclear Fission
Nuclear Fusion
Breakdown Particles
Chapter Eight: Antimatter
Antiparticles
Cosmic Rays
Particle Accelerators
Baryons
Chapter Nine: Neutrinos
Saving the Laws of Conservation
Detecting the Antineutrino
Detecting the Neutrino
Other Leptons
Unstable Particles
Neutrino Varieties
Chapter Ten: Interactions
The Strong Interaction
The Weak Interaction
The Electroweak Interaction
Chapter Eleven: Quarks
The Hadron Zoo
Inside Hadrons
Quantum Chromodynamics
Chapter Twelve: The Universe
The Mystery of the Missing Mass
The End of the Universe
The Beginning of the Universe
Index

About the Author

Isaac Asimov authored over 400 books in a career that lasted nearly 50 years. As a leading scientific writer, historian, and futurist, he covered a variety of subjects ranging from mathematics to humor, and won numerous awards for his work.

Reviews

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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