The Big Bang, the birth of the universe, was a singular event. All the matter of the visible universe was concentrated at a single point, with temperatures so high that even the familiar protons and neutrons of atoms did not yet exist, but rather were replaced by a swirling maelstrom of energy, matter, and antimatter. Exotic quarks and leptons flickered briefly into existence, before merging back into the energy sea.
This book explains the fascinating world of quarks and leptons and the forces that govern their behavior. Told from an experimental physicist's perspective, it forgoes mathematical complexity, using instead particularly accessible figures and apt analogies. In addition to the story of quarks and leptons, which are regarded as well-accepted fact, the author (who is a leading researcher at one of the world's highest-energy particle physics laboratories) also discusses mysteries at both the experimental and theoretical frontiers, before tying it all together with the exciting field of cosmology and indeed the birth of the universe itself.