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

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


By (author) Environmental Officer Lubricants Marketing Jim Baggott, By (author) J E Baggott

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 26mm | 300g
  • Publication date: 24 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199679576
  • ISBN 13: 9780199679577
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 27 black and white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 146,313

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? Did the discovery announced on 4 July 2012 finish 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 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.

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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

A thorough and readable explanation of the lengthy hunt for the Higgs boson and why its discovery last year is so important. New Scientist 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 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

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