Deadly and dull

13th October 1995 at 01:00
NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND FUNDAMENTAL PARTICLES Age range: 16-plus by Roger Muncaster Stanley Thornes Pounds 9.99 - 0 7487 1805 2

Nuclear physics - the search for the ultimate nature of matter - is exciting. Fundamental particles, with their strange properties and unfathomable lifetimes, are exotic.

Unfortunately, this book is neither exciting nor exotic. At nearly every opportunity it omits the elements that can fire students' imaginations.

There is, however, thorough coverage of the nuclear and particle physics options.

It is clearly set out in nine chapters and links between them are made clear.

Fundamental points are highlighted and there are plenty of questions with sample answers: each chapter has a useful summary. The history of the topics is evident throughout and explanations of tricky areas, such as the liquid drop model, are good but subtleties are missed.

This book will provide students with relevant information about nuclear and particle physics but may not inspire them to explore further.

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