Download Atom - A Single Oxygen Atoms Journey from the Big Bang to by Lawrence M. Krauss PDF

By Lawrence M. Krauss

ISBN-10: 0759563187

ISBN-13: 9780759563186

Now in paperback: the booklet within which the writer of the nationwide bestseller The Physics of famous person Trek strains the heritage of the cosmos by way of telling the tale of a unmarried oxygen atom-from the start of time to the current second and deep into the long run. Writing with grace and wit, Lawrence Krauss explicates state of the art technological know-how as he's taking us on an exhilarating, millennia-spanning trip that tells the reality of matter-what it's, the place it got here from, and the place it really is going.

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Extra info for Atom - A Single Oxygen Atoms Journey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond

Example text

In 1965 two physicists at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, detected an unanticipated static in a sensitive radio receiver they had tuned up in order to listen for radio signals from the sky. This static turned out to come from a uniform background of radiation bombarding us from all directions in the sky, whose source was none other than the Big Bang itself. This cosmic background radiation (CBR) has been streaming through the universe largely unimpeded for billions and billions of years.

If there were no asymmetry between matter and antimatter at the beginning, nature would be as simple as it could be. There would have been no loss of innocence, and the universe would be a peaceful, if lonely, place. One can argue all day about which initial configuration is more beautiful than another, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but such metaphysical debates usually lead nowhere. On the other hand, there is no denying that a universe with equal amounts of matter and antimatter is more mathematically symmetrical than any other initial condition.

In such machines we re-create, for a brief instant, certain features of the early moments of the Big Bang. Located between the Jura Mountains to the north and Lake Geneva and the Alps to the south is the Geneva International Airport. If you are lucky and the low cloudbank which sometimes hides the valley is absent, then just before landing there you may glimpse a cluster of buildings less than a mile northwest of the airport. Like the tip of an iceberg, the central administration buildings of the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, or CERN (the French acronym for the original, now politically incorrect name, European Council for Nuclear Research), belie a far more impressive structure hidden below the surface.

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