Front cover image for The matter of everything : how curiosity, physics and improbable experiments changed the world

The matter of everything : how curiosity, physics and improbable experiments changed the world

Suzie Sheehy (Author)
"An accelerator physicist's fascinating journey through the experiments that uncovered the nature of matter and made the modern world. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, many scientists believed that the project of physics was nearly complete, that there was little left to explore. But as the new century dawned, scientists with the drive to deepen their understanding began looking ever more closely at the atom, and as a result of their remarkable discoveries, physics--and the world around us--would never again be the same. When the cathode ray tube revealed the secret of X-rays, physics immediately proved itself to be a source of enormous technological innovation, enabling life-saving medical equipment, safer building construction, and stronger security measures. And with every discovery since, our expanded knowledge of the infinitesimal has also brought a corresponding change in technology. These experiments ushered us into the modern world, helping us to create detectors that map the insides of volcanoes and predict eruptions as well as photovoltaic cells that power remote controls, accelerate our Internet speeds, and harness the sun's energy. From the smallest of instruments to machines so large they straddle international borders, Suzie Sheehy takes readers on a captivating journey through twelve crucial experiments that shaped our understanding of the cosmos and how we live within it. Along the way, Sheehy pulls back the curtain to reveal how physics is really done--not by theorists with blackboards, but by experimentalists with brilliant designs. Celebrating human ingenuity, creativity, and above all curiosity, The Matter of Everything is an inspiring story about the scientists who make real discoveries, and a powerful reminder that progress is a function of our desire to know"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2023
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2023