By Lawrence M. Krauss
Now in paperback: the ebook within which the writer of the nationwide bestseller The Physics of celebrity 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 technology as he is taking us on an exciting, millennia-spanning trip that tells the reality of matter-what it truly is, the place it got here from, and the place it is going.
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Additional info for Atom - A Single Oxygen Atoms Journey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond
This level of radiation is likely to be prohibitively large. The fact that anyone survives past infanthood is therefore proof that protons live longer than this. Now, physics is a two-way street. Whatever it is that stops protons from easily decaying into lighter particles must also forbid the inverse process of proton creation through the collisions of the lighter particles. If one produces enough energy to create a proton, one must create along with it the correct number of antiparticles so that the total matter-ness of the products is the same afterward as it was before.
A giant step along the road to Einstein’s goal of a single theory unifying all the forces in nature seemed to have been achieved. Within five years, we had proceeded from muddy waters to a possible utterly clear Theory of Almost Everything! All the indirect evidence pointed consistently in the same direction. Particle physics seemed on the threshold of an almost complete description of nature on fundamental scales and, as we shall see, a new understanding of why we live in a universe full of matter today.
It turns out that there is a beautiful theoretical underpinning that explains why charge is conserved in electromagnetism, and it also explains why photons, alone among all particles we know of, must have absolutely zero mass. This is based on a hidden symmetry of nature, unveiled in the early part of this century. It is called a gauge symmetry, after the name coined by the German mathematical physicist Hermann Weyl, who first explored its mathematical details in an early, unsuccessful effort to relate the forces of electromagnetism and gravity.