Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Leon M Lederman  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Born: 1922 in New York


Illinois Connection

Leon lives in Batavia, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

physicist who, along with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1988 for their joint research on neutrinos. He is Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, USA. He founded the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, in Aurora, Illinois in 1986, and has served in the capacity of Resident Scholar since 1998.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

From Quarks to the Cosmos: Tools of Discovery (Scientific American Library)
ISBN: 071675052X

W H Freeman & Co. 1989

Particle physicists explore the microworld of the atom

cosmologists study the universe on a grand scale. From Quarks to the Cosmos follows the dramatic merger of these fields as they seek to define the connections among all structures, great and small - the so-called 'theory of everything'. Leon M. Lederman shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in physics. "Definitely one of my books of the year." New Scientist

The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
ISBN: 0618711686

Mariner Books. 2006

A fascinating tour of particle physics from Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman.

At the root of particle physics is an invincible sense of curiosity. Leon Lederman embraces this spirit of inquiry as he moves from the Greeks' earliest scientific observations to Einstein and beyond to chart this unique arm of scientific study. His survey concludes with the Higgs boson, nicknamed the God Particle, which scientists hypothesize will help unlock the last secrets of the subatomic universe, quarks and all—it's the dogged pursuit of this almost mystical entity that inspires Lederman's witty and accessible history.

Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe
ISBN: 1591025753

Prometheus Books. 2008

When scientists peer through a telescope at the distant stars in outer space or use a particle-accelerator to analyze the smallest components of matter, they discover that the same laws of physics govern the whole universe at all times and all places. Physicists call the eternal, ubiquitous constancy of the laws of physics symmetry. Symmetry is the basic underlying principle that defines the laws of nature and hence controls the universe. This all-important insight is one of the great conceptual breakthroughs in modern physics and is the basis of contemporary efforts to discover a grand unified theory to explain all the laws of physics.

Nobel Laureate Leon M. Lederman and physicist Christopher T. Hill explain the supremely elegant concept of symmetry and all its profound ramifications to life on Earth and the universe at large in this eloquent, accessible popular science book. They not only clearly describe concepts normally reserved only for physicists and mathematicians, but they also instill an appreciation for the profound beauty of the universe’s inherent design.

Central to the story of symmetry is an obscure, unpretentious, but extremely gifted German mathematician named Emmy Noether. Though still little known to the world, she impressed no less a scientist than Albert Einstein, who praised her "penetrating mathematical thinking." In some of her earliest work she proved that the law of the conservation of energy was connected to the idea of symmetry and thus laid the mathematical groundwork for what may be the most important concept of modern physics.

Lederman and Hill reveal concepts about the universe, based on Noether’s work, that are largely unknown to the public and have wide-reaching implications in connection with the Big Bang, Einstein’s theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and many other areas of physics. Through ingenious analogies and illustrations, they bring these astounding notions to life. This book will open your eyes to a universe you never knew existed.

Quantum Physics for Poets
ISBN: 1616142332

Prometheus Books. 2010

Quantum theory is the bedrock of contemporary physics and the basis of understanding matter in its tiniest dimensions and the vast universe as a whole. But for many, the theory remains an impenetrable enigma.

Now, two physicists seek to remedy this situation by both drawing on their scientific expertise and their talent for communicating science to the general reader. In this lucid, informative book, designed for the curious, they make the seemingly daunting subject of quantum physics accessible, appealing, and exciting.

Their story is partly historical, covering the many "Eureka" moments when great scientists—Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and others—struggled to come to grips with the bizarre realities that quantum research revealed. Although their findings were indisputably proven in experiments, they were so strange and counterintuitive that Einstein refused to accept quantum theory, despite its great success.

The authors explain the many strange and even eerie aspects of quantum reality at the subatomic level, from "particles" that can be many places simultaneously and sometimes act more like waves, to the effect that a human can have on their movements by just observing them! Finally, the authors delve into quantum physics’ latest and perhaps most breathtaking offshoots—field theory and string theory. The intricacies and ramifications of these two theories will give the reader much to ponder.

In addition, the authors describe the diverse applications of quantum theory in its almost countless forms of modern technology throughout the world. Using eloquent analogies and illustrative examples, this book renders even the most profound reaches of quantum theory understandable and something for us all to savor.