Carl Sagan famously said, 'If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.' But what fundamental matter is the universe made of? In this book, Harry Cliff, a University of Cambridge particle physicist, sets out in pursuit of answers.
Cliff is an expert writer who artfully takes on a complex subject in a comprehensible, entertaining, and humorous manner. He even describes his own childhood attempt to uncover the chemical composition of an apple pie. This fascinating work is highly recommended.
Cliff expertly mixes chemistry, physics, a dash of astronomy, and an abundance of humor, offering everyone interested in baking and the universe the most thorough and wonderfully appealing apple pie recipe of all time (at least for the last 13.8-billion years!) ... Cliff’s rich use of metaphor and analogy provides readers with fascinating and easily digestible summaries of major discoveries by legendary scientific minds past and present as he masterfully reassembles the history of human understanding into an astounding confection. Set your cosmic cooker to a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang and enjoy. Cliff’s review of the origins of matter and scientific mysteries still to be solved is a delicacy.
... entertainingly accurate ... Through a clear knowledge of many areas of physics as well as individual physicists, years spent in hands-on work at CERN, the instincts of a good storyteller, and a wicked sense of humor, Cliff draws readers into the bizarre and beautiful world inside the atom, offering an accessible education ... In addition to the ins and outs of the Standard Model, this outstanding book, sometimes as funny as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, will also teach readers why experimental subjects are often called 'guinea pigs' ... The book for anyone who wants to understand some of the world’s most important scientific questions.