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

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

Hardback

By (author) Jim Baggott

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 200mm x 30mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 3 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199603499
  • ISBN 13: 9780199603497
  • Illustrations note: 27 black and white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 183,444

Product description

The hunt for the Higgs particle has involved the biggest, most expensive experiment ever. So exactly what is this particle? Why does it matter so much? What does it tell us about the Universe? Has the discovery announced on 4 July 2012 finished the search? And was finding it really worth all the effort? The short answer is yes. The Higgs field is proposed as the way in which particles gain mass - a fundamental property of matter. It's the strongest indicator yet that the Standard Model of physics really does reflect the basic building blocks of our Universe. Little wonder the hunt and discovery of this new particle has 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 the vast experiment was carried out, and its implications on our understanding of all mass in the Universe. The book was written over the eighteen months of the CERN Large Hadron Collider experiment, with its final chapter rounded off on the day of the announcement 'that a particle consistent with the standard model Higgs boson has been discovered.'

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Author information

Jim Baggott is a freelance science writer. He was a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Reading but left to pursue a business career, where he first worked with Shell International Petroleum Company and then as an independent business consultant and trainer. His many books include Atomic: The First War of Physics (Icon, 2009), Beyond Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy and the Meaning of Quantum Theory (OUP, 2003), A Beginner's Guide to Reality (Penguin, 2005), and A Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments (OUP, 2010).

Review quote

Baggott tells a snappy story about people and ideas. Times Higher Education Supplement Higgs helps put Higgs' contribution in context ... It's a book I imagine the reticent Higgs would approve of. Jessica Griggs, New Scientist a tendency towards brevity and clarity make for a handy guide to the long hunt for an elusive quarry. Nature

Table of contents

PREFACE ; PROLOGUE: FORM AND SUBSTANCE ; 1. INVENTION ; 1. The poetry of logical ideas ; 2. Not a sufficient excuse ; 3. People will be very stupid about it ; 4. Applying the right ideas to the wrong problem ; 5. I can do that ; 2. DISCOVERY ; 6. Alternating neutral currents ; 7. They must be Ws ; 8. Throw deep ; 9. A fantastic moment ; 10. The Shakespeare question ; EPILOGUE: THE CONSTRUCTION OF MASS ; ENDNOTES ; GLOSSARY ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDEX