From the Universe to the Elementary Particles: A First Introduction to Cosmology and the Fundamental Interactions

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 5, 2012 - Science - 192 pages

In this book, the author leads the reader, step by step and without any advanced mathematics, to a clear understanding of the foundations of modern elementary particle physics and cosmology. He also addresses current and controversial questions on topics such as string theory. The book contains gentle introductions to the theories of special and general relativity, and also classical and quantum field theory. The essential aspects of these concepts are understood with the help of simple calculations; for example, the force of gravity as a consequence of the curvature of the space-time.

Also treated are the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy, as well as the presently known interactions of elementary particles: electrodynamics, the strong and the weak interactions including the Higgs boson. Finally, the book sketches as yet speculative theories: Grand Unification theories, supersymmetry, string theory and the idea of additional dimensions of space-time. Since no higher mathematical or physics expertise is required, the book is also suitable for college and university students at the beginning of their studies. Hobby astronomers and other science enthusiasts seeking a deeper insight than can be found in popular treatments will also appreciate this unique book.

 

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Contents

1 Overview
1
2 The Evolution of the Universe
15
3 Elements of the Theory of Relativity
28
4 The Theory of Fields
45
5 Electrodynamics
54
6 The Strong Interaction
73
7 The Weak Interaction
81
8 The Production of Elementary Particles
101
10 The Standard Model of Particle Physics
136
11 Quantum Corrections and the Renormalization Group Equations
141
12 Beyond the Standard Model
151
Appendix A
173
Solutions to Exercises
175
References
183
Index
185
Copyright

9 Symmetries
121

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About the author (2012)

Ulrich Ellwanger completed his doctoral work in theoretical physics at the University of Heidelberg. After research stays at Oxford University, and CERN/Geneva, followed by a Heisenberg-professorship of the German Research Foundation, he was appointed professor of the Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Paris-Sud. His fields of research and teaching are elementary particle physics (QCD, supersymmetry, string theory) and cosmology.

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