The discovery of the nucleus transformed the twentieth century and will revolutionize this one. Nuclear physics is one of the most exciting—and useful—branches of science. In medicine, it helps save lives through innovative medical technologies, such as the MRI, and in nuclear astrophysics, state-of-the-art theoretical and computer models account for how stars shine and describe how the chemical elements in the universe were formed. Now in its second edition, Nucleus tells the story of its subject from the early experimental work of the quiet New Zealander Lord Rutherford to the huge atom-smashing machines of today and beyond. Thoroughly revised and updated, the book includes the most current information on the radio dating of Earth and other planets in the Solar System, heavy-ion therapies, quark-gluon plasma and its relevance to black holes, and clarification of ab initio calculations of atomic nuclei.

Lavishly illustrated and with lively prose and captivating details, this book unravels the scientific mysteries that surround the subject of the nucleus. Anyone with even a passing interest in science will delight in this guide to the nuclear age. Other good introductions in this subject area are Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close ( and Nuclear Power: A very Short Introduction by Maxwell Irvine (

144 pages in John Hopkins University Press

ISBN 978-1421403519

Professor Jim Al-Khalili

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