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Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the 'God Particle' 1st Edition
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"A tendency towards brevity and clarity make for a handy guide to the long hunt for an elusive quarry." - Nature
"For those who want the full story, there is Jim Baggott's Higgs....His detailed explanation of how the Higgs mechanism gives particles mass is extremely elegant." -- New Scientist
"Higgs is an impressive volume, clarifying details, making the concepts that have been in dispute for years finally lucid... Higgs drills deep under your skin, constantly ferreting out new vistas, easily escaping our eyes. Baggott brings these-and more-together to form a solid concept of the God Particle effort-read it."
-- San Francisco Book Review
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 (OUP, 2010).
Top Customer Reviews
The main argument: Up until very recently, news out of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) regarding the progress of the new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) had been slow in coming, and nary a major discovery had been announced. On July 4th, though, all of that changed. As on that day CERN announced the discovery of nothing less than the Higgs boson, the 'God particle'.
The potential discovery of the Higgs boson had been one of the principal reasons why physicists were so excited about the LHC; and therefore, within the scientific community the announcement was cause for a major celebration indeed. For most of the general public, however, while the announcement was certainly intriguing, there were many basic questions yet to be answered: Just what was the Higgs boson, and why had it been labeled the God particle? Why were physicists expecting to find it, and what did the discovery really mean? Adequately answering these questions was more than what journalists were able to do in their compressed news segments and newspaper articles--and, besides this, it was a task that many journalists were not up to regardless.
Jim Baggott's new book 'Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the 'God Particle'' is meant to remedy this situation and provide the necessary context that the general public needs in order to understand the discovery of the Higgs boson and what it all means.
With impressive clarity, Baggott first takes us through the history of the development of the Standard Model of particle physics (which theory the Higgs boson is a part). He begins with the discovery that atoms are made up of the still more elementary particles of electrons, protons and neutrons.Read more ›
Stating it, I realize how the Standard Model of particles and interactions is hugely complex...all names of particles, symmetry violations and ways that symmetry is broken under numerous circumstances.
Therefore only gifted science writers and those who work (or worked) in the field of particle physics can provide the best shot at this subject. I would include here among others: Victor Stenger, Leon Lederman, Frank Wilczek, Richard Feynman, Helen Quinn (check them on Amazon).
Here is my brief impression after checking first 70 pages from Jim Baggott's book: (I doubt to read further):
Jim Baggot tries initially to explain symmetry on few pages and jumps instantly into Lie groups and gauge symmetries. This is bad. Then you read about 'subtracting one perturbation series from the other, thereby eliminating the infinite terms'. He explains further this 'renormalization procedure' by quoting after John Gribbin, that series 1+2+3+4+.. diverges into infinity. This is wrong (see Lawrence Krauss' "Hiding in the Mirror" where he explains plenty about symmetries and that infinite series do not look like they seem).
Text is flooded right from the beginning with many names and unnecessary facts about them (places where they studied for example). In short: it was hard to follow, reader will most likely get bogged down amidst all this.
Just because Higgs boson has been encountered recently, it does not warrant any need for reading "HIGGS". There are several older, better, and still perfectly valid books depicting history behind the Standard Model.
After reading ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'very read many physics books for the non-physicist books and I would this is up there with the best of them. Read morePublished 13 months ago by PHILIP CHOI
I'm a retired engineer who remembers reading articles in Scientific American about concepts discussed in this book when they were new, like the Eighfold way of Gell-Mann for... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Donald E. Fulton
If you have ever wondered what the physicists are up to, and how they "know" what atoms are made of, you will probably enjoy this book. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jim Link
Jim Baggot published this book one year before the Higgs Boson were “confirmed” in the LHC. It was a good forecast of the next discovery. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Victor D. Manriquez
Trying to discuss the Standard Model of nuclear physics and how the Higgs particle fits into this paradigm is not an easy task. Read morePublished on August 6, 2014 by Metallurgist
Deep reading but I would recommend a little background in Quantum Mechanics before diving into this book/I loved it !Published on June 18, 2014 by Bruce D.
I bought the book thinking it would help me understand how the Higgs influenced the mass of the particles of the standard model. It did not.Published on April 21, 2014 by David W.
IF you have little mdern-physics background and merely want to know what the hullaballou is about, THEN this book might be a 4 or 5. Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by GeoffK