A Tour of the Subatomic Zoo

A Tour of the Subatomic Zoo
A Guide to Particle Physics

Cindy Schwarz
ISBN: 9781681744223 | PDF ISBN: 9781681744216
Copyright © 2017 | 109 Pages | Publication Date: January, 2017

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Introduction by Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate (Harvard University)

A Tour of the Subatomic Zoo is a brief and ambitious expedition into the remarkably simple ingredients of all the wonders of nature. With hardly a mathematical formula, Professor Cindy Schwarz (Vassar College) clearly explains the language and much of the substance of elementary particle physics for the 99% of students who do not aspire to a career in physics. Views of matter from the atom to the quark are discussed in a form that an interested person with no physics background can easily understand.

College and university courses can be developed around this book and it can be used alone or in conjunction with other materials. Even college physics majors would enjoy reading this book as an introduction to particle physics. High school (and even middle school) teachers could also use A Tour of the Subatomic Zoo to introduce this material to their students. It will also be beneficial for high school teachers who have not been formally exposed to high-energy physics, have forgotten what they once knew, or are no longer up-to-date with recent developments.

Table of Contents

Matter in the early 20th century
Forces and interactions
A glimpse at the particle zoo
More particles and conservation rules
Simplification of the zoo: quarks
The standard model
Particle accelerators
Particle detectors
Open questions


About the Author(s)

Cindy Schwarz, Vassar College
Cindy Schwarz is a Professor of Physics at Vassar College. She earned a BSc in Mathematical Physics at the State University of New York at Binghamton and a PhD in experimental particle physics from Yale University. She remained active in the research field of particle physics from her arrival at Vassar in 1985 through 1992, working on experiments in high-energy physics at Brookhaven. She changed her line of scholarship in the mid-nineties to focus on pedagogy and curriculum design, with a focus on teaching and learning with technology and producing materials appropriate for those students not planning to major in physics (or even science).

Cindy is the sole author of three books, co-author on another book, author of one interactive CD-ROM, five articles, articles in Microsoft Encarta 2000, an interactive tutorial on the internet, and editor and publisher of Tales from the Subatomic Zoo. She has also published along with Jill Linz a children's book Adventures in Atomville: The Macroscope, which is available in print in English and Spanish and on nook, kindle and ibooks. Cindy's first book A Tour of the Subatomic Zoo, published by Springer-Verlag was reviewed in Physics Today, The Physics Teacher, Choice and Scitech Book News. Scitech said 'A great little book, and if every physics textbook were like this, physics classrooms would be crowded.' The book also won the 1993 American Library Association Award for Outstanding Academic Book. Cindy is considered an expert on teaching particle physics to non-physicists as she has given numerous talks, workshops and keynotes and her book is used at other Universities. Her second book, Interactive Physics Workbook, was the first of its kind. Now out in a second edition, the book is a compilation of 40 computer simulations specifically designed to make use of the technology for effective pedagogy and therefore improved student learning (and interest). Reviewers have said of the workbook: 'they are about the best of their type' and 'they are excellent tutorial software programs that stand apart from many of the current offerings.' Cindy has authored several 'non-traditional' sets of material that make use of interactive learning either on the web or within a specialized program. These include, articles for Microsoft Encarta 2000, The Interactive Journey Through Physics CD, contributions to The Scholar's Way of Thinking and the Scholar's Way of Writing.

Cindy is also very active in the physics community both locally and nationally. She was appointed to the APS Award Committee on Broadcast Journalism and served as its chair for two (out of three) years. She was appointed in 1999 to both the Committee on Computers in Physics and the Committee on Instructional Media of American Association of Physics teachers (AAPT) and has served on the Committee on Women in Physics twice. She was one of five editors for a series of books, Undergraduate Texts in Contemporary Physics, published by Springer-Verlag and has done numerous book reviews and made contributions to major physics texts. She also served on the APS Committee on Education for two years.

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