Particles and Interactions: An Overview



In this introductory chapter, we shall get acquainted with the fundamental particles and their interactions, and have a first look at their characteristic properties which we shall study more fully later in this book. We shall also ponder on the crucial and pervasive role of the concept of symmetry, and close the chapter with considerations of the indispensable practical matter of physical units.


Gauge Theory Quantum Number Gauge Boson Natural Unit Generalize Charge 
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Suggestions for Further Reading

The history of particle physics is the subject of many recent excellent books. In particular

  1. Close, F., The Particle Explosion. Oxford U. Press, New York 1994Google Scholar
  2. Ezhela, V. V. et al, Particle Physics: One Hundred Years of Discoveries: An Annotated Chronological Bibliography. AIP Press, New York 1996zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Pais, A., Inward Bound. Oxford U. Press, New York 1986Google Scholar

For reviews with little or no mathematics, see

  1. Davies, P. C. W., The New Physics. Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge 1989Google Scholar
  2. Georgi, H., A Unified Theory of Elementary Particles and Forces. Scientific American 244 (April 1981) 48ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ho-Kim, Q., Kumar, N. and Lam, C.S., Invitation to Contemporary Physics, World Scientific, Singapore 1991; Chap. VIGoogle Scholar
  4. t Hooft, G., Gauge Theories of the Forces between Elementary Particles. Scientific American 242 (June 1980) 104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Quigg, C., Elementary Particles and Forces. Scientific American 252 (April 1985) 84ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ramond, P., Gauge Theories and their Unification. Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 41 (1983) 31ADSGoogle Scholar

Symmetry has always fascinated philosophers and artists alike. Some examples are

  1. Brack, A., et al., La symtrie daujourd'hui. Eds. du Seuil, Paris 1989Google Scholar
  2. Hargittai, I. and Hargittai, M., Symmetry through the Eyes of a Chemist. VCH Publishers, New York 1987Google Scholar
  3. MacGillavry, C. H., Symmetry Aspects of M. C. Eschers Periodic Drawings. Bohn, Scheltema, and Holkema, Utrecht 1976Google Scholar
  4. Schröder, E., Dürer. Kunst und Geometrie. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1980zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Shubnikov, A. V. and Koptsik, V. A., Symmetry in Science and Art. Plenum Press, New York 1974Google Scholar
  6. Weyl, H., Symmetry. Princeton U. Press, Princeton 1973Google Scholar
  7. Wigner, E., Symmetries and Reflections. Indiana U. Press, Bloomington 1967Google Scholar
  8. Yang, C. N., Elementary Particles. Princeton U. Press, Princeton 1962Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversité LavalSte-FoyCanada
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Hautes EnergiesUniversités Paris VI et VIIParis Cedex 05France

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