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Ian Sample

Massive: the hunt for the God particle

A great deal of effort is being put nto the search for the Higgs boson, in particular it is a major reason for the building of the Large Hadron Collider. You might wonder why it is so important. In Massive: the hunt for the God particle Ian Sample tells the story.

The book starts with a short history of particle physics, and tells of Peter Higgs early life, and how he came up with his ideas of the origin of mass. It also tells of others who had similar ideas - the name 'God Particle' might be a bit over the top, but at least it doesn't give rise to priority disputes. Sample then gets on to the search for the Higgs boson, describing the competition between the Europeans at CERN and the Americans, (mostly at Fermilab). He tells of the ill fated Superconducting Supercollider. Also, there is always the question 'How sure do you need to be about a result to announce it to the world'. Just before the LEP was closed down to make way for the LHC there were results which just might have been the Higgs. Should the LEP have been kept going for longer to make sure?

It's a well written book, keeping away from the technicalities but giving the reader a flavour of the world of particle physics, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to know more of what the LHC is all about.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0753522128
Salesrank: 2091943
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 2011 Virgin Books
Marketplace:New from $47.00:Used from $0.76
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0753522128
Salesrank: 701530
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 2011 Virgin Books
Marketplace:New from £1.79:Used from £0.01
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0753522128
Salesrank: 1297042
Weight:0.44 lbs
Published: 2011 Virgin Books
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 63.44:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
Now fully updated -- this is the dramatic and gripping account of the greatest scientific discovery of our time.
     In the early 1960s, three groups of physicists, working independently in different countries, stumbled upon an idea that would change physics and fuel the imagination of scientists for decades. That idea was the Higgs boson -- to find it would be to finally understand the origins of mass -- the last building block of life itself. Now, almost 50 years later, that particle has finally been discovered.

     Award-winning science writer Ian Sample weaves together the personal stories and intense rivalries of the teams of scientists searching for the particle, Massive is a tale of grand ambition, trans-Atlantic competition, clashing egos and occasionally spectacular failures. From the giant particle colliders built to further the scientists' quest to the political fallout of budget blowouts, debates over whether the search might even destroy the universe, to the incredible discovery of the particle itself, this is an epic story of imagination, personal ambition, sub-atomic exploration and global significance.

     Whichever way you look at it, this story is massive.