Embedded in an autobiographic framework, this book retraces vividly and in some depth the golden years of particle physics as witnessed by one of the scientists who made seminal contributions to the understanding of what is now known as the Standard Model of particle physics. Well beyond a survey of interest to historians of sciences and researchers in the field, this book is a must for all students and young researchers who have learned about the theoretical and experimental facts that make up the standard model through modern textbooks only. It will provide the interested reader with a first hand account and deeper understanding of the multilayered and sinuous development that finally led to the present architecture of this theory.
From the reviews: "[...] the book touches clearly upon the building blocks of the Standard Model and communicates 50 years of passion for physics and its intricacies - a lesson for young researchers." (Cern Courier, July/August 2005, 45, page 43) "Although Steinberger describes his experiments and results in some detail, Learning About Particles is not exclusively for aficionados; anyone with an interest in scientific research and how it is accomplished will be well rewarded from its pages." (Don Perkins, Physics World, July 2005, page 42, physicsweb.org) "Jack Steinberger ! offers a personal account of the historical and scientific evolution of the field, interspersed with autobiographical notes. ! the book touches clearly upon the building blocks of the Standard Model and communicates 50 years of passion for physics and its intricacies -- a lesson for young researchers. It also speaks of a passion for other, and far more common, sources of enjoyment in life such as music and mountains -- a lesson for physicists in general!" (Biagio Saitta, CERN Courier, Vol. 45 (6), July/August, 2005) "Steinberger (CERN, Switzerland) offers this scientific biography, written in a modest and friendly style, providing a footnote to the history of the development of particle physics over the period from 1948 to about 1990. Many well-known people cross the stage and interact with the author during this time, and many interesting anecdotes are offered. ! It is very well produced, with illustrations and an index ! . Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." (K. W. Ogilvie, CHOICE, Vol. 43 (1), 2005)