Quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory explaining the strong nuclear force that binds together the components of the atomic nucleus, is one of the four fundamental forces of nature that control the universe in which we live. This absorbing book covers the ideas and stories behind QCD, the successes and the puzzles, the unsolved mysteries and the characters involved. The subject is discussed in an accessible and entertaining way, assuming only the minimum physics and mathematics background knowledge. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in science and a solid introduction for students embarking on particle physics courses.
Table of Contents:
Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. Symmetry; 3. The quantum world; 4. Towards QCD; 5. The one number of QCD; 6. The gregarious gluon; 7. Quarks and hadrons; 8. Quarks under the microscope; 9. Much ado about nothing; 10. Checkerboard QCD; Appendix 1. A QCD chronology; Appendix 2. Greek alphabet and SI prefixes; Appendix 3. Glossary; Appendix 4. Further reading; Index.