CERN Library | Carlos Chimal presents his book "El Universo en un puñado de átomos" | 26 September

"El Universo en un puñado de átomos", by Carlos Chimal.

Monday 26 September 2016 - 16:00
Room Georges Charpak (60-6-015)


What have in common Swiss filmmaker Alain Tanner, Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, French philosopher Voltaire, Spanish writer Cervantes, English playwright Shakespeare and Particle Physics?

El Universo en un puñado de átomos is a chronicle about the relationship between literature, arts, science and technology around HEP. As a novelist interested in public understanding of science, author started these diary of the journey into the atom in April of 1992 interviewing Leon Lederman at Fermilab, later he visited DESY and finally, since 1998, he came to CERN and did "lab life", sometimes spending several weeks, even months, at CERN. Every year since then he have been interviewing particle hunters as many as he could. So, this book is supported by their testimonies given formally and informally (at the kitchen in the hostel, in the corridors, in the restaurants). It is a book written by an eyewitness who enjoys this "coven" of scientific knowledge.

He tells the story of detectors and accelerators, rarely told in Spanish. It is a tribute to all of those trying to show us a version of a hidden reality.

The very same title has to do with Shakespeare´s play Hamlet. In Act II he replies to his comrades Rosencrantz and Guidenstern:

Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one;
'tis too narrow for your mind.

Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nut-
shell, and count myself a king of infinite space,
were it not that I have bad dreams.


Therefore, it is a very Shakespearean and Cervantine book, because they just wanted to relate a good story. And this is the purpose of this book: relate an exciting, peculiar story.

The author has a wide audience among young readers in Spanish.

El Universo en un puñado de átomos, Carlos Chimal, México, Tusquets, 2016.

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par CERN Library