Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the

Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the "God Particle"

by Jim Baggott
     
 

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The hunt for the Higgs particle has involved the biggest, most expensive experiment ever. So what is this particle called the Higgs boson? Why does it matter so much? What does this "God particle" tells us about the Universe? And was finding it really worth all the effort?

The short answer is yes, and there was much at stake: our basic model for the

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Overview


The hunt for the Higgs particle has involved the biggest, most expensive experiment ever. So what is this particle called the Higgs boson? Why does it matter so much? What does this "God particle" tells us about the Universe? And was finding it really worth all the effort?

The short answer is yes, and there was much at stake: our basic model for the building blocks of the Universe, the Standard Model, would have been in tatters if there was no Higgs particle. The Higgs field had been proposed as the way in which particles gain mass - a fundamental property of matter. Little wonder the hunt and discovery have produced such intense media interest.

Here, Jim Baggott explains the science behind the discovery, looking at how the concept of a Higgs field was invented, how it is part of the Standard Model, and its implications on our understanding of all mass in the Universe.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Confronted with talk of the "God particle," a phenomenon that has recently been the subject of much media attention, many have responded with some form of the question, "What was all the fuss about?" Here, science writer Baggott (A Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments) explains the search for and the importance of this elusive particle. First posited by Peter Higgs in 1964, the Higgs boson, as it is officially known, is purportedly responsible for particles attaining mass; it was tentatively discovered in 2012 at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, but continues to baffle even those in the sciences. Baggott's tale encompasses years of complex theory, billions of dollars' worth of experimentation, and countless enterprising individuals, but the strength of this book is in its tracing of the ways in which physicists and models of reality work, showing how theoretical and mathematical systems build on others' successes and shortcomings. Filled with information that is refreshingly free of abstractions and analogies, this book is best-suited to those with a background in science. If readers can weather Baggott's data-rich terrain, they'll find a world of high energy, colorful quarks, and myriad mysteries. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"A tendency towards brevity and clarity make for a handy guide to the long hunt for an elusive quarry." - Nature

"For those who want the full story, there is Jim Baggott's Higgs....His detailed explanation of how the Higgs mechanism gives particles mass is extremely elegant." -- New Scientist

"Higgs is an impressive volume, clarifying details, making the concepts that have been in dispute for years finally lucid... Higgs drills deep under your skin, constantly ferreting out new vistas, easily escaping our eyes. Baggott brings these-and more-together to form a solid concept of the God Particle effort-read it."
-- San Francisco Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199603497
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/06/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
950,656
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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