Elementary Particles Enrico Fermi, Thomas Appelquist

The Silliman Memorial Lectures Series
Publication date:
25 Sep 2012
Yale University Press
136 pages: 203 x 127 x 8mm
Sales territories:

First published in 1951, Enrico Fermi’s Elementary Particles remains a valuable guide for physicists and scholars. Fermi’s descriptions of the then-known particle universe and its nascent conceptual framework allow readers to glimpse the foundations of the field from the perspective of one of its most distinguished contributors.

Over sixty years of research have provided answers to some of the questions Fermi poses in this book, but the biggest mysteries, regarding the origin and unification of forces, remain. As the high-energy physics community analyzes the results from ongoing experiments, such as those at the Large Hadron Collider, this historic work will be of interest to researchers, academics, and students. A new foreword by Yale University physicist Thomas Appelquist provides an engaging update and gives the work historical context.


Professor of physics at the University of Chicago and a member of the Institute for Nuclear Studies until his death in 1954, Enrico Fermi was awarded the Medal of Merit for his work on the atomic bomb and received the Nobel Prize in 1938 for research in neutron physics. Thomas Appelquist is Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Yale University.

"Fermi's lectures are clear and point out the direction for future research. Thomas Appelquist's introduction skillfully ties Fermi's text to the developments that followed during the next 60 years."—James W. Cronin, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago and Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1980

"In this delightful book, Fermi’s well-earned reputation for clarity and insight shines through. A classic excursion into what we know and what remains to be learned about the universe around us."—David Kaiser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“This book offers a broad appeal to general readers interested in the history of elementary particle physics, as well as graduate students looking for a deeper understanding of quantum field theory.”—Paul Halpern, author of Edge of the Universe:  A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond

“Diligent students and scholars interested in getting a glimpse of Fermi’s physical insight will enjoy this book. . . . It should be mandatory reading for students of the history of particle physics.”—Serge Rudaz, University of Minnesota