The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in ScienceBook - 2010
A prize-winning science writer provides a history of the 40-year search for the Higgs boson, also known as the "God" particle, and the intense rivalries, clashing egos and grand ambition that led to a world-changing discovery.
Drawing upon his unprecedented access to Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, award-winning science writer Ian Sample chronicles the multinational and multibillion-dollar quest to solve the mystery of mass. For scientists, to find the God particle is to finally understand the origin of mass, and until now, the story of their search has never been told.
While physicists dislike the media calling the theorized Higgs boson "the God particle," scientists at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva and the Fermilab outside of Chicago are nonetheless engaged in a race to confirm its existence. In an accessible account, Sample (science correspondent, The Guardian) traces the science and politics driving this search for the missing piece of the Standard Model that describes all of the known particles. The machines and money involved and the implications are massive. He also covers public safety concerns. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
What is it that makes things heavy? It's a simple question, but after two hundred years of searching, scientists still don't have a final answer. The closest we've come to solving the mystery is a particle whose existence remains unproven. Its name is the Higgs boson, although it is commonly referred to as the "God particle."
In 1964, the British physicist Peter Higgs postulated an overarching theory of mass that introduced the concept of the Higgs boson. Though Higgs never managed to nail down the details, the scientific community became possessed by the race to prove the theory. The ensuing four-decade, multinational, multibillion dollar quest consumed the attention of scientific luminaries and world leaders eager to ensure that their country would be the one making the discovery.
The world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, is now fully functional, and set to resolve once and for all if the Higgs boson exists. Drawing upon unprecedented access to Peter Higgs, prize-winning science journalist Ian Sample reveals the fascinating story behind this momentous pursuit. Weaving together the personal narratives and international rivalries, Massive chronicles the immense effort to finally solve the mystery of mass.
Relates the history of the forty-year search for the Higgs boson, also known as the "God" particle, and the intense rivalries, clashing egos, and grand ambition behind the search to solve the mystery of one of the biggest unanswered questions in physics.