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Infinity Puzzle

  • The second half of the twentieth century witnessed a scientific gold rush, as physicists raced to chart the inner workings of the atom. While many of its mysteries came unraveled, one remained intractable?the ?Infinity Puzzle.? Although quantum field theory offered a powerful explanatory framework for elementary particle physics, it nonetheless made one utterly ridiculous prediction: that certain events had an infinite probability of occurring. In The Infinity Puzzle, acclaimed theoretical physicist Frank Close covers half a century of particle physics and explains how scientists reached a solution that enables theory to match what we see in the real world, and in so doing gave rise to the idea of the Higgs boson. With a physicist?s expertise and a historian?s care, Close describes the personalities and competition, the dead ends and the sudden insights, in a story for the pursuit of an orderly universe.

    This updated edition includes a new epilogue that brings the story up to date, including the July 4, 2012, announcement of a Higgs ?beyond reasonable doubt? and discussion of where physics goes next.
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