The Perfect Wave: With Neutrinos at the Boundary of Space and Time


As topographically textured branes floated through my mind I began searching for ways to communicate that could seem faster than light. After reading the above books the neutrino interested me due to its weak interaction with mass in our reality. I began to play with the idea that if a brane had an asymmetrical negative charge to it, which created ridges like mountain ranges on it, information could possibly be sent off our brane, through the bulk, and received back on the brane. It would be the equivalent of digging a tunnel through a mountain to avoid walking up and over it. Photons would need to remain on the brane and go up and over the ridge, but neutrinos might possibly pass through the ridge. This theory may not stand up in the world of science, but I think it has enough intelligence to put into science fiction.

The Perfect Wave by Heinrich Pas was the perfect introductory book to help me understand neutrinos. I thank him for writing such an approachable book on a truly bizarre little corner of physics.

The Perfect Wave: With Neutrinos at the Boundary of Space and Time
Heinrich Pas
Harvard University Press
February 10, 2014*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Almost weightless and able to pass through the densest materials with ease, neutrinos seem to defy the laws of nature. But these mysterious particles may hold the key to our deepest questions about the universe, says physicist Heinrich Päs. In The Perfect Wave, Päs serves as our fluent, deeply knowledgeable guide to a particle world that tests the boundaries of space, time, and human knowledge.

The existence of the neutrino was first proposed in 1930, but decades passed before one was detected. Päs animates the philosophical and scientific developments that led to and have followed from this seminal discovery, ranging from familiar topics of relativity and quantum mechanics to more speculative theories about dark energy and supersymmetry. Many cutting-edge topics in neutrino research--conjectures about the origin of matter, extra-dimensional spacetime, and the possibility of time travel--remain unproven. But Päs describes the ambitious projects under way that may confirm them, including accelerator experiments at CERN and Fermilab, huge subterranean telescopes designed to detect high-energy neutrino radiation, and the Planck space observatory scheduled to investigate the role of neutrinos in cosmic evolution.

As Päs's history of the neutrino illustrates, what is now established fact often sounded wildly implausible and unnatural when first proposed. The radical side of physics is both an exciting and an essential part of scientific progress, and The Perfect Wave renders it accessible to the interested reader.