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Book review: The Infinity Puzzle

by Laura Domela

February 02, 2012 at 8:22 PM


The Infinity Puzzle sounds like one of those wooden gadgets that you can play with for a few minutes before wanting to hurl it across the room in frustration, but the infinity puzzle of this book's title actually refers to a mathematical quandary that stumped particle physicists for the first half of this century. The story of how physics moved beyond this roadblock has now been told by Frank Close, a distinguished theoretical physicist as well as a very apt storyteller.

Close's book is subtitled Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe, and it tells the story of how that field came into existence. By the 1930s, Quantum Electrodynamics (or QED), had provided a beautiful and elegant theory explaining how light interacts with atoms. However, upon closer scrutiny, the equations predicted that the chances of certain occurrences were infinite. 
via ars technica

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