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This title in other editions

The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

by

The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World Cover

ISBN13: 9780525953593
ISBN10: 0525953590
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Scientists have just announced an historic discovery on a par with the splitting of the atom: the Higgs boson, the key to understanding why mass exists has been found. In The Particle at the End of the Universe, Caltech physicist and acclaimed writer Sean Carroll takes readers behind the scenes of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to meet the scientists and explain this landmark event.

The Higgs boson is the particle that more than six thousand scientists have been looking for using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest energy particle accelerator, which lies in a tunnel 17 miles in circumference, as deep as 575 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It took ten years to build and this search has now cost over $9 billion and required the collaboration of engineers from more than one hundred countries.

What is so special about the Higgs boson? We didn’t really know for sure if anything at the subatomic level had any mass at all until we found it. The fact is, while we have now essentially solved the mass puzzle, there are things we didn’t predict and possibilities we haven’t yet dreamed. A doorway is opening into the mind boggling, somewhat frightening world of dark matter. We only discovered the electron just over a hundred years ago and considering where that took us — from nuclear energy to quantum computing — the inventions that will result from the Higgs discovery will be world-changing.

The Particle at the End of the Universe not only explains the importance of the Higgs boson but also the Large Hadron Collider project itself. Projects this big don’t happen without a certain amount of conniving, dealing, and occasional skullduggery — and Sean Carroll explores it all. This is an irresistible story (including characters now set to win the Nobel Prize among other glories) about the greatest scientific achievement of our time.

Review:

"With his trademark wit and lucidity, Carroll (From Eternity to Here) delivers the story of the search for the elusive Higgs boson — the Holy Grail of particle physics — which was finally discovered earlier in 2012. The tale, says Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, is one of 'money, politics, and jealousy' among scientists and nations seeking the prize. The Higgs boson is not an atomic particle; it's part of the Higgs field that pervades the universe and gives atomic particles their mass. The quest for the elusive particle required a cutting-edge tool: the massive, complex Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. Carroll takes readers inside the collider's 17-mile ring, where protons zoom around at ultrahigh speeds to smash together, revealing telltale signs of the boson. Along the way Carroll introduces researchers like Mike Lamont, the LHC's 'Mister Scott'; engineer Lyn Evans, the man who built the LHC; and Fabiola Gianotti, one of the top women scientists in the world. Whether explaining complex physics like field theory and symmetry or the workings of particle accelerators, Carroll's clarity and unbridled enthusiasm reveal the pure excitement of discovery as much as they illuminate the facts. Illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“The science is authoritative, yet bold and lively. The narrative is richly documented, yet full of human drama. Carroll’s saga pulls you aboard a modern voyage of discovery.” Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, author of The Lightness of Being

Review:

“In this superb book, Sean Carroll provides a fascinating and lucid look at the most mysterious and important particle in nature, and the experiment that revealed it. Anyone with an interest in physics should read this, and join him in examining the new worlds of physics to which this discovery may lead.” Leonard Mlodinow, author of NYT bestseller The Drunkard’s Walk

Review:

"Carroll tells the story of the particle that everyone has heard of but few of us actually understand. After you read his book — an enticing cocktail of personal anecdote, clever analogy, and a small dose of mind-bending theory — you will truly grasp why the Higgs boson has been sought after for so long by so many. Carroll is a believer in big science asking big questions and his beliefs are infectious and inspiring." Morgan Freeman, Actor and Executive Producer of Through the Wormhole

Synopsis:

Scientists are on the brink of the greatest breakthrough in physics since the splitting of the atom: the Higgs boson, the key to understanding why mass exists. Caltech physicist and acclaimed writer Sean Carroll takes readers behind the scenes of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to meet the scientists and explain this landmark event.

What is so special about the Higgs boson? We didn't understand how subatomic particles could have any mass at all until we found it. The fact is, while we have essentially solved the mass question, there are things we didn't predict. A doorway is opening into the mind boggling, somewhat frightening world of dark matter. We only discovered the electron just over a hundred years ago and considering where that took us — from nuclear energy to quantum computing — the implications of the Higgs discovery hold the potential of changing the world.

The Particle at the End of the Universe not only explains the importance of the Higgs boson but also the Large Hadron Collider project itself. Projects this big don't happen without a certain amount of conniving, dealing, and occasional skullduggery — and Sean Carroll explores it all. This is an irresistible story (including characters now set among other glories to win the Nobel Prize) about the greatest scientific achievement of our time.

About the Author

Sean Carroll, PhD, is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. After receiving his doctorate at Harvard, he pursued his research at MIT, the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago. Also the author of From Eternity to Here, he lives in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

tweedledee, February 11, 2013 (view all comments by tweedledee)
This is the best explanation of particle physics that I have read (and I've read a few books on the subject). It gives you the background you need to understand the recent discovery of the Higgs particle which, if I understand it correctly, is what holds the universe together. If you've ever wondered why linear accelerators are important, read this book now. It helps to have some college level physics or chemistry, but it is not absolutely necessary.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Zulaikha, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by Zulaikha)
I love this book. There doesn't seem to be a quick easy way to describe what the Higgs boson is, what it does and why we should care. Carroll carefully and methodically takes the reader through each of these and I, a person with no physics background, am actually learning and understanding about particle physics (at a layperson level, obviously). I think I need to read it a second time to really solidify my understanding, but I've learned tons on just this first reading.
Not finished yet, but even if the few remaining pages and appendices completely suck (which i can't imagine really) this book is still a must-read for anyone curious about the Higgs hoopla and what the heck the LHC does.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780525953593
Subtitle:
How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World
Author:
Carroll, Sean
Publisher:
Dutton Books
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Physics-General
Subject:
Physics-Nuclear
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.6 x 0.99 in 0.81 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World New Hardcover
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Product details 352 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525953593 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With his trademark wit and lucidity, Carroll (From Eternity to Here) delivers the story of the search for the elusive Higgs boson — the Holy Grail of particle physics — which was finally discovered earlier in 2012. The tale, says Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, is one of 'money, politics, and jealousy' among scientists and nations seeking the prize. The Higgs boson is not an atomic particle; it's part of the Higgs field that pervades the universe and gives atomic particles their mass. The quest for the elusive particle required a cutting-edge tool: the massive, complex Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. Carroll takes readers inside the collider's 17-mile ring, where protons zoom around at ultrahigh speeds to smash together, revealing telltale signs of the boson. Along the way Carroll introduces researchers like Mike Lamont, the LHC's 'Mister Scott'; engineer Lyn Evans, the man who built the LHC; and Fabiola Gianotti, one of the top women scientists in the world. Whether explaining complex physics like field theory and symmetry or the workings of particle accelerators, Carroll's clarity and unbridled enthusiasm reveal the pure excitement of discovery as much as they illuminate the facts. Illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “The science is authoritative, yet bold and lively. The narrative is richly documented, yet full of human drama. Carroll’s saga pulls you aboard a modern voyage of discovery.”
"Review" by , “In this superb book, Sean Carroll provides a fascinating and lucid look at the most mysterious and important particle in nature, and the experiment that revealed it. Anyone with an interest in physics should read this, and join him in examining the new worlds of physics to which this discovery may lead.”
"Review" by , "Carroll tells the story of the particle that everyone has heard of but few of us actually understand. After you read his book — an enticing cocktail of personal anecdote, clever analogy, and a small dose of mind-bending theory — you will truly grasp why the Higgs boson has been sought after for so long by so many. Carroll is a believer in big science asking big questions and his beliefs are infectious and inspiring."
"Synopsis" by , Scientists are on the brink of the greatest breakthrough in physics since the splitting of the atom: the Higgs boson, the key to understanding why mass exists. Caltech physicist and acclaimed writer Sean Carroll takes readers behind the scenes of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to meet the scientists and explain this landmark event.

What is so special about the Higgs boson? We didn't understand how subatomic particles could have any mass at all until we found it. The fact is, while we have essentially solved the mass question, there are things we didn't predict. A doorway is opening into the mind boggling, somewhat frightening world of dark matter. We only discovered the electron just over a hundred years ago and considering where that took us — from nuclear energy to quantum computing — the implications of the Higgs discovery hold the potential of changing the world.

The Particle at the End of the Universe not only explains the importance of the Higgs boson but also the Large Hadron Collider project itself. Projects this big don't happen without a certain amount of conniving, dealing, and occasional skullduggery — and Sean Carroll explores it all. This is an irresistible story (including characters now set among other glories to win the Nobel Prize) about the greatest scientific achievement of our time.

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