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Thread: Sorting sources?

  1. #1
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    Sorting sources?

    Ever come up against a book which seems to be a good source but you don't know if it really is a good source by a good author? This is the thread.

    I think I answered by own question, but the first book in this thread The Hunting the Quark by Dr. Michael Riordan. It seems pretty good, but it isn't as it seems. The topic is the search for J/psi particle, a meson which is made up of a heavy quark and it's antiparticle. The book has surprisingly little in the way of physics, which I couldn't' understand because it seems to be pretty heavy reading for pop-science. It turns out that it is in the category of "History of Science", which is very different than physics or pop-science.

    Is it a good, reliable source? I hope so, but was wondering if anyone had ever read it and could offer an opinion.

    While I posted about one book, the thread is set up for anyone to ask about other books/sources even if there isn't a good answer for my question.
    Solfe

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    ...The topic is the search for J/psi particle, a meson which is made up of a heavy quark and it's antiparticle....
    I recall Leon Lederman's group was involved in that, and he wrote a little about it in his book, The God Particle....

    "Meanwhile, Lederman's group at Fermilab finally learned how to carry out the dimuon experiment correctly, and a new, vastly more effective organization of apparatus exploded open the mass domain from the J/psi peak at 3.1 all the way to pretty nearly 25 GeV, the limit allowed by Fermilab's 400 GeV energy... And there, at 9.4, 10.0, and 10.4 GeV sat three new bumps, as clear as the Tetons viewed on a brilliant day from Grand Targhee ski resort... and the new thing that was conserved was the beauty quark -- or as some less artistic physicists call it, the bottom quark." [Leon Lederman, The God Particle, p 320]
    In general, though, the problem with pop sci books is that they are typically dumbed down to some degree, some to the extent that some of their statements are just flat out wrong. As Tony Rothman warned....

    "More and more scientists are now engaging in the popularization of their own fields. I wholeheartedly support this trend for the simple reason that scientists know their turf better than journalists. At the same time I am disturbed to see a growing gap between the standards upheld by scientists when they face other scientists and the standards they uphold when they face the public... [saying] things they would never try to get away with among colleagues."
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  3. #3
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    Did Tony Rothman give examples?

    There's a book about Einstein by one of his near acquaintances that seemed to misinterpret some of the conversations they had. I think �� have/had a copy ...

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