A Model of Leptons

A Model of Leptons


Description: FIRST EDITION of Steven Weinberg's model of the electroweak force, one of the essential components of the standard model of particle physics. Weinberg shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his "contribution to the theory of the unified and weak electromagnetic interaction." "As Steven Weinberg tells the story, there was Isaac Newton's theory of gravity, 'intended to explain the movements of the celestial bodies and how such things as apples fall to the ground; and there was James Clerk Maxwell's account of electromagnetism as a way to explain light, radiation, magnetism, and the forces that operate between electrically charged particles.'" The quantum revolution "introduced two new forces, both operating at very short range, within the nucleus of the atom. The strong force holds the particles of the nucleus together and is very strong... The other is known as the weak force, which is responsible for radioactive decay. And so, until the 1960s there were four forces that needed to be reconciled: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak radioactive force" (Peter Watson, The Modern Mind). At Berkeley in 1967, "Weinberg produced a gauge theory that correctly predicted electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. This was later to become known as the electroweak theory. In his paper, 'A model of leptons', he showed that although electromagnetism is much stronger than the weak force of everyday energies, the only way to devise a theory of the weak force is to include the electromagnetic force. Weinberg showed how what was seemingly impossible could be achieved and the forces could be unified through the interchange of particles in spite of the difference in their strengths. Abdus Salam had independently reached the same conclusions and what became known as the Weinberg-Salam model was a major advance on earlier models that had originally been applied to leptons... In 1979 Weinberg shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for this work with Salam and his old school friend Sheldon Glashow, who had extended the work that Weinberg and Salam had independently developed" (Chris Cooper, Physics). The discovery and description of the electroweak force has been confirmed experimentally and now is one of the essential elements of the "standard model" of particle physics. "By 1988, Weinberg's three-page paper in the Physical Review was the most frequently cited paper in elementary particle physics since the end of World War II" (Lightman, The Discoveries). Particle Physics: One Hundred Years of Discoveries; Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 19, 1967, pp. 1264-66. Quarto, modern wrappers (without original wrappers); custom box. Fine condition.
Artist or Maker: Weinberg, Steven
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