Synopses & Reviews
"PÃ¤s, a professor of theoretical particle physics, embraces a surfing metaphor and takes readers for a wild ride in pursuit of the neutrino part ghost, part outlaw, part Holy Grail to theoretical physicists. Wolfgang Pauli first proposed the electrically neutral, massless neutrino in 1930 to explain what happened to the energy lost during beta decay. PÃ¤s explains how neutrinos, living up to their ghostly reputation, evaded detection until 1951. Still more mysterious, subsequent experiments revealed that neutrinos have mass, and can also transform themselves into different types electron, muon, and tau neutrinos as well as be their own antiparticles. Given that unique mutability, PÃ¤s's enthusiasm is understandable as he shows how neutrinos may be the 'key to the universe,' filling in the gaps in the Standard Model of modern physics as well as revealing important cosmological details about the our universe and how it formed including the secrets of dark matter, dark energy, and perhaps even time travel. From vast laboratories deep underground to the cutting edge Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory nearing completion in frigid Antarctica, PÃ¤s reveals the 'world of madmen, dreamers, and visionaries' who pursue the neutrino and its place in theoretical physics." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Entertaining and evocative, Päs has written a breezy, readable account of particle physics, especially neutrino physics, in a lucid, lively narrative. Sandip Pakvasa, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Takes readers for a wild ride in pursuit of the neutrino--part ghost, part outlaw, part Holy Grail to theoretical physicists...From vast laboratories deep underground to the cutting edge Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory nearing completion in frigid Antarctica, Päs reveals the 'world of madmen, dreamers, and visionaries' who pursue the neutrino and its place in theoretical physics." Publishers Weekly
Päs for his part, places neutrinos within the broader context of contemporary high theory and delves deeper into the science. Physics buffs will relish his explanations, and not just of established ideas such a the seesaw mechanism. Neutrinos, Päs explains, may offer a way to probe the extra dimensions of space postulated by some 'theories of everything.' The puny particles' weirdness, it seems, knows no end. The Economist
The ghostly neutrino--a mutable, almost massless particle that can pass through dense substances--stars in this scientific history. Theoretical physicist Heinrich Päs surfs the decades of dazzling research since Wolfgang Pauli first posited the particle in 1930. Päs revisits key theorists such as Ettore Majorana, and lays out the work of groundbreaking labs from Los Alamos in New Mexico, where Fred Reines and Clyde Cowan first detected neutrinos in the early 1950s, to today's vast IceCube neutrino observatory in Antarctica. Nature
Some science books are good because they tell you a lot about science. Some are good because they present their examples and argument in very well written prose. A few do both. The Perfect Wave is one of the few...I can highly recommend The Perfect Wave as a pleasant and provocative way to gain insight into the way physicists think, and into the way the universe (probably) works. John Gribbin
Written by one of the world's leading experts in the field...Heinrich Pas' book guides the reader through some difficult territory, covering the historical and philosophical developments that led to our understanding of the neutrino today. It is a peculiar route that navigates via such topics as the ancient Greek and magic mushrooms. Plus of course the obligatory cat that is simultaneously alive and dead...Though this book is written in simple language, don't expect an easy read. There are some highly challenging ideas to get your head around--but it is worth making the effort. Wall Street Journal
Almost weightless and able to pass through the densest materials with ease, neutrinos may offer answers to questions ranging from relativity and quantum mechanics to more radical theories about dark energy and supersymmetry. Heinrich Päs serves as our fluent guide to a particle world that tests the boundaries of space, time, and human knowledge.
About the Author
Heinrich Päs is Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics at Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany.
auml;t in Dortmund, Germany