Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Building Blocks of Matter: A Supplement to the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Building Blocks of Matter: A Supplement to the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics

Article excerpt

Ed. by John S. Rigden. New York: Macmillan Reference, 2003. 530p. alkaline $130 (ISBN 0-02-865703-9).

Editor John Rigden and his 132 contributors have succeeded in creating a significant new core reference for particle physics. Conceived as a supplement to the previously published Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics (1996), Building Blocks of Matter can stand alone as it provides broad yet accessible coverage to this modern discipline. The 153 entries are arranged alphabetically, generally two to five pages in length, and all conclude with appropriate "see also" references and a bibliography of significant sources. The volume is illustrated with 192 well-chosen photos, illustrations, and tables. Front matter includes a reader's guide which classifies the entries into subjects, thus providing directed readings for entree into a subject (e.g., "Accelerator Types," "Biographies," "Culture and Particle Physics"). Also present are a list of articles with authors, a list of contributors which identifies their entries and their institutions, and common abbreviations and acronyms in particle physics. Back matter includes a time line, glossary, and a thorough index. A third of the entries were repeated from the parent publication, Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics, yet nearly all of these were completely rewritten by new contributors. Even those appearing by the same author were generally improved and refreshed with new, updated bibliographies.

Material in this volume is markedly current. A major strength in the work is the presence of the many well-chosen bibliographic references. …

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