Nothing (Paperback)

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This short, smart book tells you everything you need to know about "nothing." What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space--"nothing"--exist? To answer these questions, eminent scientist Frank Close takes us on a lively and accessible journey that ranges from ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research, illuminating the story of how scientists have explored the void and the rich discoveries they have made there. Readers will find an enlightening history of the vacuum: how the efforts to make a better vacuum led to the discovery of the electron; the ideas of Newton, Mach, and Einstein on the nature of space and time; the mysterious aether and how Einstein did away with it; and the latest ideas that the vacuum is filled with the Higgs field. The story ranges from the absolute zero of temperature and the seething vacuum of virtual particles and anti-particles that fills space, to the extreme heat and energy of the early universe.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

About the Author

Frank Close is Professor of Physics at the Theoretical Physics Department, Oxford University. He gained a DPhil at Oxford University, and has worked at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), CERN, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Professor Close has been awarded the Kelvin Medal from the Institute of Physics and is the author of many books aimed at both a professional and a lay audience.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780199225866
ISBN-10: 0199225869
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: July 2009
Pages: 157
Language: English
Series: Very Short Introductions