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This information in this book includes an overview of modern physics, the history of CERN and the Large Hadron Collider, and specifics of some of the physics problems being studied at CERN. It reads like a compilation of essays written for different publications, so there is some repetition. Some essays are harder to follow and more information-dense than others. All of them are well written.
I'm a lay person, and this is the first book I've read on some of the concepts of modern physics. I learned a lot. But the narrator, Byron Wagner, read too fast for me to follow the more technical chapters.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Present at the creation is a highly accessible introduction to particle physics, quantum mechanics and the history of CERN. Very enjoyable, with enough physics background to explain latest research without getting lost in technical detail.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I chose this book to read before I went on a once in a lifetime's trip to visit the LHC last year and started listening to it eagerly. Unfortunately I immediately found the voice and accent of the narrator grated on me and left it for later. In the last week I really wanted to give the book another try since it seemed to have a lot to offer and I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to get to grips with it. I've had to admit defeat this morning and I won't be listening to it again.
The subject matter is fascinating and although there are some odd places where things are suddenly glossed over for no apparent reason the writing is detailed while being easy to understand. I am sure that it is well researched and the descriptions of the places and people are engaging and interesting.
Unfortunately the strong, almost overpowering accent of the narrator is intrusive and unpleasant to listen to, and his inability to pronounce quite a few important technical words correctly is irritiating to the point of distraction. Added to this is the tone with which he reads - it is as if he is constantly surprised by what he is reading, with a note of amazement in his voice about things which are not even slightly surprising, something which detracts from the listener's ability to grasp the sometimes complex concepts that he is reading about. He also has a tone which at times becomes rather patronising, almost like a television programme for very small children, and again this is so overpowering that it detracts from the clarity of the text.
If the book had been read by somebody who gave the impression of understanding the subject, with a grasp of correct pronounciation and with a less overpowering accent it would probably have been a really excellent listen, but I am afraid that I am unlikely ever to finish it in this form. A great shame.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is one of the most accessible books I've encountered in explaining the complex theories that underly quantum physics.
The history of CERN is a theme that runs throughout the book, as the author covers the advances and leaves this listener feeling like I understand the complexities at least at a basic level.
I found this very engaging and engrossing and I can return to the book repeatedly and each time learn some nothing new.