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

( 20 )

Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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.

In "one of the clearest, most enjoyable new science books in years . . . (Lederman) explains the entire history of physics and cosmology. En route, you'll laugh so hard you won't realize how much you are learning" (San Francisco Chronicle). Line art throughout.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618711680
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/26/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 282,557
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

DICK TERESI is the coauthor of The Three-Pound Universe and a former editor of Omni magazine. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    about the electronic version ...

    The electronic version of God Particle is riddled with errors. Not errors in content but typographical errors. Over 50 errors in 370 pages. You would think that for near hard copy price the publisher would ensure that mistakes like these would not crop up, especially when they are so easy to fix in the electronic version.

    This book contains some math symbols that were altered and many every day words that were altered during the conversion process.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2005

    Very Fun to Read

    I LOVED IT. I hate physics but this book opened my eyes to the world of particles. I had the honor of meeting Dr. L. Lederman, he signed my copy and I have to say that he was very approachable and ready to answer my questions. This book was very fun to read. Beside, it makes you look smart ;-)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    The God Particle writen with wit

    This book is better for it's comiedial asspects then for the information which it disscusses. Leberman relates creative dialoge and personal storys to his work in order for the reader to fluidly move through the subject of modern physics. The book, however, does not go into substantial detail while disscussing the subject, it instead gives a history of the developement of such scientific discoverys. This is not a graduate text to theoretical physics, it is instead introductory in level. If you would like to get a greater level of depth into the subject but are unfairmilar with it refer to my related titles.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Must Read

    A great read and should be a mandatory read for Advanced High School Physics and College students. I was not a Science major in my day, but the first 200 pages or so brought everything back easily. The last 200 or so were a blur but I am sure a Science Professional would understand and appreciate every word from beginning to end. Despite my opinion about the last 200 pages, I would likely begin to do my own self study so that I can see beyond the blur...thanks Lederman and Teresi!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    Light at the End of the Accelerator?

    Lederman and Teresi composed a delightfully good read. You can tell the tone of the book, lighthearted, on the first page where the Greek philosopher Democritus (circe 400 BC) is cited saying something as profoundly true today as it was then: 'Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.' Lederman and Teresi spend some time explaining that Democritus¿ atom is not the chemical atom, which can be divided into many subatomic particles. Democritus meant the indivisible atom, the elementary particles of which chemical atoms are made. If one understands there is a good-natured rivalry, sometimes breaking into tension, between theorists and experimenters in particle physics, one can enjoy the jokes that Lederman, the experimenter, makes at the expense of his theorist colleagues. And there are many such jokes and jabs, all in fun from Lederman¿s perspective at least. But he does set the record straight, in a more serious vein, on page 13: 'Physics in general progresses because of the interplay of these two divisions.' And on page 14: 'The interaction of theory and experiment is one of the joys of particle physics.' That same rivalry, in the hands of another author, Gary Zukav in his The Dancing Wu-Li Masters turns experimentalists into mere mechanics, and makes theorists into the only real physicists. Whoever told him that was not telling the whole story about how progress has been made in the science of particle physics, and will continue to be made. Lederman takes on the Zukav book and some others like it in a digression in his own book. He calls this digression an interlude, and this is in Interlude B, euphemistically called 'The Dancing Moo-Shu Masters' on Lederman¿s pp. 189-198. (I seem to be in good company making fun of the title of Zukav¿s book!) Lederman cites both The Dancing Wu-Li Masters by Gary Zukav and The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra as books that are the most prominent out of a larger number of books seeking to tie the spookiness of quantum physics to the spookiness in some ideas of Eastern Religions and the New Age. On page 190 Lederman states that: 'There is some good physics writing in both of these books, which gives them a feeling of credibility. Unfortunately, the authors jump from solid, proven concepts in science to concepts that are outside of physics and to which the logical bridge is extremely shaky or nonexistent.' He then shows (pp. 190-191) what he means by citing Zukav¿s treatment of the double-slit experiment by Thomas Young as a good physics-description followed by an incredible interpretation. Lederman contrasts Zukav¿s description of the photon as an intelligent, 'organic' particle with his unqualified assertion that there are no such things as atoms physically, that none have ever been seen, and that they are but 'hypothetical entities constructed to make experimental observations intelligible.' Lederman says that in fact atoms can be seen, they are real. Asking how a photon knows whether either one or two slits are open is an irrelevant question, according to Lederman, and concluding that photons are intelligent . . . 'is fun, perhaps even philosophical, but we have departed from science.' Lederman says that Fritjof Capra, in his book, is . . . 'much cleverer, hedging his bets and his language, but essentially he¿s a non-believer. He insists that the `simple mechanistic picture of building blocks¿ should be abandoned. Starting with a reasonable description of quantum physics, he constructs elaborate extensions, totally bereft of the understanding of how carefully experiment and theory are woven together and how much blood, sweat and tears go into each painful advance.' (P. 191) But, Lederman continues, these two books are the best of the lot and . . .'constitute a relatively respectable middle ground between good science books and a lunatic fringe of fakes, charlatans, and crazies.' (The phrase 'damnin

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Good sccience read

    Entertaining anecdotes and humor mixed with real science and NO MATH TEST!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    The Philosophical Prophet

    "Completely genuine"! Makes sparks collide.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Fun & Informative

    The author's have a sense of humor which makes this book a fun AND informative read. Don't pay too much attention to the publication date as most of the science discussed is still valid. This is written for the layman with a minimum of jargon. Highly recommended guide to understanding particle physics for those of us who don't care (or understand) the math.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    The God Particle in review

    This is a wonderful book for those people curious about physics but were afraid to ask. I started reading physics about 10 years ago. This book was made for those who's understanding is limited. Explained in very good terminology. The God Particle is discussion about the Higgs particle discovered I believe in June of 2012. This is also called the Higgs field. The Higgs particle maybe more than one particle as well. The Higgs allows other particles to have mass. All theories are adequately and eloquently described. Very good read for those who take an active interest in understanding the physical universe.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013

    Entertainingly educational.

    Possibly the funniest book on physics ever written! The only downside is you need some basic understanding to get the jokes which are plentiful!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    test

    Kffhf

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Perfect

    I am pretty young to be interested in this stuff. Well, i loved this book. I love how it has mystery and science and it keeps u thinking about the god particle for days. Is the universe the answer? That is the question. (Evil laugh.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2005

    A thought-provoking book

    An interesting book, with quite a bit on the personalities and politics behind the SSC in Texas.

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