A Strange Journey

Title: Atom Land:
A Guided Tour Through the Strange (and Impossibly Small) World of Particle Physics
Author: Jon Butterworth
Genre: Science
Pages: 288
Rating: 4 of 5
Future Release Date:  4/3/18 (Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC!)

Edwin Abbott Abbott wrote Flatland to help explore geometry, dimensions, and related topics (as well as a healthy dose of spiritual/social commentary); now Jon Butterworth does something similar for particle physics (hold the social commentary). He describes the most current theories of what atoms are made of and how all the bits, energies, forces, etc. act and interact in terms of places on a map and travel between those places (with plenty of humorous asides).

The author does a good job of explaining things in a way that requires no background in particle physics or mathematics but is not condescending. The significance of complicated formulas and equations is discussed without going into the actual mathematics. There is enough detail to develop a basic grasp of the theories while still feeling a bit mind-boggled at the strangeness of the topic. This won’t make you an expert, but it is a great introduction to this weird, fascinating topic.