Synopses & Reviews
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.
About the Author
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
Table of Contents
Prologue: Form and substance
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
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