A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
'A magnificent, compelling and insightful voyage to the frontier of knowledge from a great writer with a deep understanding.' Brian Cox
What is the universe really made of? How do we know? Follow the map of the invisible to find out...
Over the last sixty years, scientists around the world have worked together to explore the fundamental constituents of matter, and the forces that govern their behaviour. The result, so far, is the ‘Standard Model’ of elementary particles: a theoretical map of the basic building blocks of the universe. With the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, the map as we know it was completed, but also extended into strange new territory.
A Map of the Invisible is an explorer’s guide to the Standard Model and the extraordinary realms of particle physics. After shrinking us down to the size of a sub-atomic particle, pioneering physicist Jon Butterworth takes us on board his research vessel for a journey in search of atoms and quarks, electrons and neutrinos, and the forces that shape the universe. Step by step, discovery by discovery, we journey into the world of the unseen, from the atom to black holes and dark matter, and beyond, to the outer reaches of the cosmos and the frontiers of human knowledge.
Beautifully illustrated, with gradually evolving maps offering an inventive visual glossary as the journey progresses, A Map of the Invisible provides an essential introduction to our world, and to particle physics. It is a landmark work of non-fiction by one of the great scientists and science writers of today.
Jon Butterworth is currently Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL and works on the ATLAS Experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. He studied at the University of Oxford, receiving a DPhil in particle physics in 1992. He is the author of Smashing Physics, and of the 'Life and Physics' blog for the Guardian.