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Higgs Force: The Symmetry-Breaking Force that Makes the World an Interesting Place

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0718892753
ISBN-10: 0718892755
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Editorial Reviews


'Higgs Force takes a new approach to contemporary physics, and makes notoriously difficult material accessible and approachable. The book is very readable and entertaining, and I will certainly recommend it to my first year undergraduates, to whom it will greatly appeal.' --Tony Mann, President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics

'Nicholas Mee ... is uniquely qualified to explain the mysteries of the Higgs force. Dr Mee provides an accurate account of the Geneva experiments with the Large Hadron Collider, provides his readers with some insight into the character of eminent physicists, and furnishes a lucid account of current theories ... [he dispenses], as far as possible, with complex mathematics and makes excellent use of interesting diagrams. He also inserts some problems for readers that prompt engagement in the text ... a most suitable text for sixth formers and first year graduates.' --George Care in The Bookbag 09/02/2012

'Higgs Force, by Nicholas Mee, takes the reader on a fascinating intellectual journey: our endeavours to uncover and understand the laws governing the universe, with particular emphasis on the beautiful ideas arising from symmetry. This is a remarkable story, and it is told here with lucidity and verve.' --Jonathan Evans, University Lecturer, Cambridge University


'Nicholas Mee acts as the trigger as he selects the tales to tell of those whose work has helped reveal the structure of matter and the laws of nature, culminating in the present hunt for the Higgs particle. The result is an intellectual journey that ends at the LHC near Geneva but begins with the Big Bang 13.75 billion years ago ... This book is far broader and more accessible than its title may suggest.' Manjit Kumar, in Literary Review, Issue 396 '… Higgs Force, the book that seeks to explain how modern physicists understand the universe by exposing the complex secrets of matter ... You have to have a vested interest in the subject matter to be able to read Higgs Force, more than just a passing fancy.' Neil Buchanan, at www.starburstmagazine.com '… provides a well-written and clearly explained overview of the way in which our understanding of the fundamental forces in nature has developed over the last two thousand years ... It might be particularly suitable as preliminary reading for those intending to study Physics at university.' www.bookwitch.wordpress.com 'In Higgs Force, Nicholas Mee, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society with a doctorate in theorical particle physics from Cambridge University, lays out why the Higgs matters, and what is being done to find it.' www.economist.com

Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Lutterworth Press (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718892755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718892753
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased the Kindle-fire version of this book and comsumed it in one reading. I have been following the story of Quantum Mechanics since taking grad school courses at UCLA in 1969. As an Engineer who worked in the integrated circuit industry for over thirty years I had a keen interest in understanding the physics of the solid state and the forces that allow us, as humans, to think about our origins, from star stuff after the big bang. Dr. Mee has written a book that provides a clear, readable history of the development of the progress of those who worked to unravel the story of Quantum Mechanics. The book is both a history and the best and simplest explanation of how the physics came to define The Standard Model. With the most recent announcement from CERN of the confirmation that the Higgs Boson is real, the final chapter in the Standard Model can be written. Once it was thought that an aether was needed as a medium through which waves of light could propagate. Then light was found to have strange behavior acting as though it were a particle, the Photon. The aether was disproven by the Michelson-Morely experiment, leaving physicists to ponder how a wave/particle could propagate through space-time without a medium. The Higgs Force by Nicholas Mee provides a clear understanding of how the Higgs Boson interacts with other Quantum Mechancial particles to provide the feature known as Mass. The Book works to enlighten the lay reader and those with some background in physics as to how the Higgs Field interacts with other particles and seems to bring us full circle back to a field interacting with particles that exhibit mass and allowing the massless photon to pass through the Higgs field without any interaction, thus no mass.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
"The arrival of the Higgs opens a new door onto the ultimate structure of the universe, offering the possibility of exploring a completely new regime of physics beyond the Standard Model."

Nicholas Mee: Higgs Force: Cosmic Symmetry Shattered

In his splendid "Higgs Force" British Physicist Nicholas Mee draws a distinction between the few "High Priests of Particle Physics" who understand its mysteries "hidden behind a veil of abstract and subtle mathematics" and the rest of us Homo Sapiens. Fortunately Mee promises to draw back the veil of secrecy and reveal them to us all, and he succeeds admirably. Already in his introduction Mee explores several critical questions posed by non-scientists: How the perfect symmetry of the Big Bang disintegrated within milliseconds, and the original force split into three separate forces which now dominate our existence. Mees writes ominously, "We are composed of the ash from the nuclear furnaces that roared at the hearts of previous generations of stars." In a word, we, each of us, the Empire State building, the Himalayas, are all "star dust." Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, as is written. It is, however, only in the past few decades that physicists successfully understood the process, and that's what Mee explains.

Like most books of this genre, Mee begins with a historical review of the development of particle physics, describing step-by-step how we got to the Higgs. Johannes Kepler saw symmetrical shapes in snowflakes and realized that this was due to the regular arrangement of the atoms from which they are formed--a remarkable insight considering this was almost 300 years before the existence of atoms was established.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having trained in quantium nechanics some 40 years ago and wanting an update on where the Higgs particle fits into current thinking I found this a very clear update.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband like it.
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