Oct 06 2005

Lucifer’s Legacy: the meaning of asymmetry

Published by at 6:15 am under Books

by Frank Close

I picked this one up on a whim while browsing the stacks looking for another book. The sub-title got me. The book turned out to be a qualitative tour of physics with a focus on particle physics. It is well and clearly written with good explanations of many phenomena and a generally historical development.

Ultimately, I didn’t think it explained the “meaning” of asymmetry but did explicate its importance as a concept in physics and its apparent importance in the structure of the physical world. So I guess that’s the meaning. The ubiquitous role of phase change as a transition from a symmetric state to an asymmetric one was well explained. As was the concept of phase change in the particle realm as the universe cooled and the corresponding undoing of such phase changes in high energy particle experiments.

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