by Gordon Kane
For the past 50 years, particle physicists have concentrated on honing what they call the standard model. The most complete mathematical theory of the natural world yet available, it's based on descriptions of the interactions of subatomic particles called quarks and leptons. Supersymmetry represents the next frontier. This newer idea holds that every particle now known has a superpartner that differs only in spin and mass. With supercolliders that use electrical fields to accelerate electrically charged particles, physicists hope to validate supersymmetry. The concept, if demonstrated, would explain the role of dark matter and why the universe is made of matter rather than antimatter. Such findings advance ideas about the nature of the universe and our place in it. In presenting a dynamic story, Kane's extraordinarily clear exposition traces many different elements in the pursuit of the currently hypothetical realm of supersymmetry.
Perseus, 2000, 199 p., illus., hardcover
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Copyright 2001, Science Service