Friday, 9/25 – 7:30pm – Philadelphia Fantastic presents Paul Halpern

Philadelphia Fantastic Presents:
Author ofCollider: The Search for the World’s Smallest Particles (27.95 Wiley)


Will the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) create a miniature black hole that could swallow up the Earth? Could it help explain the missing matter and energy in the universe? Will it point the way toward unifying the forces of nature? Might it reveal the God particle? Collider goes beyond explaining the mysteries of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theories to sort through a century of actual experiments, revealing how we know what we know, and what we hope to find out. In this comprehensive guide to the theory, mechanics, and science behind experimental high-energy physics, award-winning physicist and celebrated author Paul Halpern gives you the tools you need to understand what the LHC is, what it hopes to discover, and why it is the biggest story in science today. You’ll discover how the scientists running the project expect to shed light on the origins of the universe by recreating the conditions that existed just after the Big Bang and why that isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds. Halpern starts you off with a crash course in the essentials of physics. With clear explanations of the Standard Model, the four forces that govern the universe (weak, strong, gravity, and electromagnetism), and the vast array of particles already discovered using colliders, he helps you understand why scientists might be on the verge of confirming or disproving some of the predictions of string theory and how the LHC could help unlock the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy, supersymmetry, and portals to higher dimensions. You’ll also find out why the theoretical Higgs boson is often referred to as the God particle and how its discovery could change our understanding of the universe. No aspect of the LHC has received more attention than the fact that one side effect of the collision of particles at ultra-high speed is the creation of mini-black holes. Press coverage has focused heavily on fears that these superdense particles would start gobbling up everything around them
and eventually swallow the entire Earth. Halpern provides a clear and
detailed explanation of why these fears, and the storm of publicity that has spread them, amount to a tempest in a very tiny teapot. So, relax! The world will not come to an end any time soon, but we may learn a lot more about it in the blink of an eye. Read Collider and find out what, when, and how.

“Paul Halpern is a gifted writer who brings science and scientists alive. This is a wonderful introduction to the world of high-energy physics, where gigantic machines and tiny particles meet.” – Kenneth Ford, retired director of the American Institute of Physics and author of The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone

“Professor Paul Halpern takes the reader on a stimulating odyssey on topics ranging from particle physics and dark matter to unexplored dimensions of space. The masterful Halpern likens the physicist’s quest to the excavation of archaeologists who seek to uncover ‘new treasures’ as they unearth wondrous gems that lay hidden all around us. Buy this book and feed your mind!” Dr. Cliff Pickover, author of Archimedes to Hawking and The Math Book

“With clarity and a Sagan-esque gift for explanation, Paul Halpern traces the story of how physicists use immensely powerful machines to probe the deepest mysteries of existence. Halpern also conclusively debunks the ludicrous claims that the Large Hadron Collider and other high-energy physics experiments threaten to destroy anything-except our residual ignorance about the nature and workings of our wondrous universe.” Mark Wolverton, author of The Science of Superman and A Life in Twilight: The Final Years of J. Robert Oppenheimer

“A gem. The prose sparkles, the descriptions are exquisitely understandable, and the narrative is just plain fun. This book will charm experts, students, and anyone interested in scientific exploration.” Catherine Westfall, Visiting Associate Professor of the History of Science at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, and coauthor of Fermilab: Physics, the Frontier, and Megascience

“Paul Halpern has written a masterful account of particle accelerators and the theories they are constructed to investigate in a very accessible and engaging style. As the world’s largest accelerator begins its search for the smallest particles, Halpern traces the human drive to find the ultimate building blocks of nature. ” -David C. Cassidy, professor at Hofstra University and the author of Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb

“If you ever wondered about the Large Hadron Collider and what’s brewing in high energy physics and cosmology, Paul Halpern is a wonderful guide. His lively and engaging writing deftly interweaves the historical background, the current frontiers, and the latest scientific instruments, now poised to address so many profound questions.”-Peter Pesic, author of Sky in a Bottle and Seeing Double: Shared Identities in Physics, Philosophy, and Literature

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