The Lightness Of Being by Frank Wilczek

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I don't often recommend a book before I'm all the way through it, but I'm happy to make an exception with Frank Wilczek's The Lightness of Being. Frank Wilczek is a Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and an engaging writer. His book is a tour de force of science writing for the layman and one of the few good treatments of the subjects of the strong nuclear force and asymptotic freedom (the incredible strength of the nuclear force and it's dramatic die off after short distances). I've learned a lot, including the expereimental methods by which quarks were discovered: ultrastroboscopic utilization of ultrahigh frequency gamma rays. As a kid, my uncle was a scientific computing director at Fermilab and subsequently at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). When I was 6 years old, he took me up in the control tower of Fermilab's synchrotron ring and I also got to see the Big Mac detector at SLAC that was used in investigations of the top quark in 1986. Frank Wilczek conveys that same excitement to his audience through his science writing.


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