|MadSci Network: Physics|
Everything on Earth is made of matter which is, in turn, composed of atoms. Atoms can be broken down further into what are called subatomic particles. These are things like protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, and so forth. Nuclear physicists are the scientists who study these particles, usually with the help of large particle accelerators such as the ones at Fermi Lab, Brookhaven, or CERN. By studying what happens when you smash particles or atoms together, we can learn a lot about why the universe looks and acts the way it does. For example, right now nuclear physicists are looking for a particle called the "Higgs particle". They are hoping that discovering it and learning its properties will help them to understand why different particles (and other objects in the world) weigh as much as they do. There are a lot of books on this topic. Two of the more interesting are: Nobel Dreams (Gary Taubes) The God Particle (Leon Lederman - a Nobel Prize winner) In addition, you can find information at the following WWW sites: http://www.fnal.gov/ (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/ (CERN) http://www.bnl.gov/ (Brookhaven National Laboratory) These are three of the most important accelerators in the world and their web pages have a lot of good information.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.