The Matter of Everything: A History of Discovery
The astonishing story of twentieth-century physics, told through the twelve experiments that changed our world.
Vividly described . . . A sweeping but detailed and pacy account of 100 years of scientific advancement, The Matter of Everything has a cheering takeaway. What such leaps lie ahead? What questions seem intractable now that we won't give a thought to in the future? Sheehy mounts the case that - with persistence, curiosity and collaboration - we may yet overcome challenges that now seem impossible. ― New Scientist
How did a piece of gold foil completely change our understanding of atoms?
What part did a hot air balloon play in the discovery of cosmic rays?
How did the experiments in the run-up to the Large Hadron Collider lead to the invention of the World Wide Web?
Asking questions has always been at the heart of physics, our unending quest to understand the Universe and how everything in it behaves. How do we know all that we know about the world today? It's not simply because we have the maths - it's because we have done the experiments.
Accelerator physicist Suzie Sheehy introduces us to the creative and curious people who, through a combination of genius, persistence and luck, staged the ground-breaking experiments of the twentieth century. From the serendipitous discovery of X-rays in a German laboratory, to the scientists trying to prove Einstein wrong (and inadvertently proving him right), The Matter of Everything takes us on a journey through the history of experiments that transformed our world.
Format/pages: paperback / 336 pages