The Infinity Puzzle

The Infinity Puzzle : The personalities, politics, and extraordinary science behind the Higgs boson

4.03 (563 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


We are living in a Golden Age of Physics. Forty or so years ago, three brilliant, yet little-known scientists - an American, a Dutchman, and an Englishman - made breakthroughs which later inspired the construction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva: a 27 kilometre-long machine that cost ten billion dollars, took twenty years to build, and finally discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson.

The Infinity Puzzle is the inside story of those forty years of research, breakthrough, and endeavour. Peter Higgs, Gerard 't Hooft and James Bjorken were the three scientists whose work is explored here, played out across the decades against a backdrop of high politics, low behaviour, and billion dollar budgets. Written by Frank Close, the eminent physicist and award-winning writer, The Infinity Puzzle also draws upon the author's close friendships with those involved.

In July 2012, in the days leading up to the momentous announcement that the Higgs boson had indeed been discovered, Frank Close and Peter Higgs were together at a conference in Sicily. In this paperback edition, Close includes a substantial epilogue reflecting on the announcement, its implications, and the impact on Peter Higgs and others.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 155 x 233 x 24mm | 644g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • One 8pp b/w plate section and several line drawings
  • 0199673306
  • 9780199673308
  • 83,651

Table of contents

show more

Review quote

If [the Higgs Boson] does turn up, some people in Stockholm will likely be among the book's most avid readers ... Close is especially diligent in investigating the priority of ideas and in crediting researchers who may have been left behind, either by the Nobel committee or by popular imagination ... The result is a much more nuanced picture of history. * Physics World * masterpiece...I never normally give 5 stars but for this I make an exception. * John Gribbin, BBC Focus * thoroughly researched and well-crafted narrative * New Scientist * Review from previous edition fascinating book * Nature * this is an insider's view of a story that changed our understanding of the nature of reality. * Guardian *
show more

About Frank Close

Frank Close is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and former head of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. During his career he has worked closely with CERN, home of the LHC. He is a well-established science writer, and his recent short books for The Void and Antimatter - have been highly successful. In 2013 Professor Close was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for communicating science.
show more

Rating details

563 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 37% (209)
4 36% (202)
3 21% (118)
2 5% (29)
1 1% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X