Introduction.- Particles or waves?.- Fields.- What is a particle if it is a wave?.- A matter of energy exchange.- A wave of relativity.- Quantization of fields.- Energy in waves and fields.- Symmetry and the origin of force.- Propagators and virtual particles.- Renormalisation of fearful infinities.- Spin makes up bosons and fermions.- Conservation of charge and particle number.- Particle zoo.- Electroweak force in the early universe.- The breaking of the world will never be the same.- The strong force: Quantum Chromo Dynamics.- Gravity as a field.- Further reading.- References and sources.
How can fundamental particles exist as waves in the vacuum? How can such waves have particle properties such as inertia? What is behind the notion of “virtual” particles? Why and how do particles exert forces on one another? Not least: What are forces anyway? These are some of the central questions that have intriguing answers in Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Unfortunately, these theories are highly mathematical, so that most people - even many scientists - are not able to fully grasp their meaning. This book unravels these theories in a conceptual manner, using more than 180 figures and extensive explanations and will provide the nonspecialist with great insights that are not to be found in the popular science literature.
Wouter J.M. Schmitz, born 1970, studied physics in Amsterdam. He worked at CERN for an assignment at the Spin Muon Collaboration (SMC) and later as a summer student at a LEP experiment. He graduated at Nikhef Amsterdam in 1994. He has subsequently worked in IT and also holds an MBA degree. Today, Wouter works as a leading digital architect, retaining nonetheless a deep and informed interest in conceptual problems in physics.
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