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I need a good book about elementary particles. I am a high school student and don't want anything to technical. I read a brief history of time and the universe in a nutshell but i want something that centers more around elementary particles.

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6 Answers 6

You should definitely pre-order Lisa Randall's Knocking on Heaven's door, to be released in September,

http://www.amazon.com/Knocking-Heavens-Door-Scientific-Illuminate/dp/006172372X

which is detailed, excellent, and addressed to the laymen such as bright high school students (no equations). Randall is a top particle physicist - and some advanced enough stuff about particle physics, including the LHC collider, is the bulk of the book. Try also Warped Passages by the same author which is more theoretical and less experimental:

http://www.amazon.com/Warped-Passages-Unraveling-Mysteries-Dimensions/dp/B003A02WS0/ref=sr_1_1

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I wanted to upvote but being a person with big fingers on an ipad, your answer now shows a downvote. Please make an edit so that I may undo that. –  yayu May 3 '11 at 5:49
    
No prob, @yayu, but you may change the vote now if you wish. –  Luboš Motl May 3 '11 at 6:07
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Martinus Veltman Facts and Mysteries in Elementary particle physics He introduces almost all the concepts he talks about, provides interesting biographies and stories, and keeps the material at a level perfect for layman and high school students. And he is a Nobel Laureate.

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Robert Oerter's "The Theory of Almost Everything" is a very readable book that focuses on the development of the Standard Model. It's a gentle introduction to some crucial ideas in particle physics (that aren't string theory...) and also gives a bit of historical context for how the field developed.

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Bruce Schumm's Deep down things: the breathtaking beauty of particle physics is also quite readable and not too technical. (See the Amazon reviews) I found elementary descriptions of esoteric concepts like gauge theory, renormalization, the need for Lie algebras, the evolution of various theories.

Generally speaking, it's best to browse multiple books because they tend to complete each other.

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The Particle Garden is a good read, and accessible to high school students, providing interesting historical accounts.

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Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close is aimed at the general reader. One reviewer says it's good for high schoolers.

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