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Higgs Force: Cosmic Symmetry Shattered Paperback – 24 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Quantum Wave Publishing Limited; 2nd Revised Edition edition (24 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957274610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957274617
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Nicholas Mee received his PhD in theoretical particle physics from the University of Cambridge. He is the director of software company Virtual Image and the author of many maths and science multimedia CD-ROMs. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. More information can be found at www.nicholasmee.com.

Product Description

Review

A delightfully readable and accessible account of the search for the force which ensures that there is something rather than nothing in the Universe. --John Gribbin

... good reading for anyone interested in what today's physicists are excited about. --The CERN Courier

Every so often, physics gets sexy. The Big Bang and black holes regularly grab the headlines, and, more recently, something else has become the latest scientific superstar the God Particle. Higgs Force aims to do for the Higgs boson what Stephen Hawking did for the black hole. --Guru Magazine

Higgs Force takes a new approach to contemporary physics, and makes notoriously difficult material accessible and approachable, very readable and entertaining. --Tony Mann, President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics

Want to know the secret of everything ever? Then look no further than Higgs Force, the book that seeks to explain how modern physicists understand the universe by exposing the complex secrets of matter. --Starburst Magazine

A lucid explanation concerning the symmetry breaking force that makes the world an interesting place accompanied by excellent notes and a useful bibliography. --The Book Bag --The Book Bag

Higgs Force takes some pretty high-end physical concepts and research and presents them in a format that pretty much anybody can start to get their head around, as long as they re armed with a general interest in the subject matter. --Blogstronomy

Bloody brilliant! I love the stories and the characters. It is the most wonderful ongoing detective story. --Terence Woodgate, Royal Designer for Industry

Higgs Force takes some pretty high-end physical concepts and research and presents them in a format that pretty much anybody can start to get their head around, as long as they re armed with a general interest in the subject matter. --Blogstronomy

Bloody brilliant! I love the stories and the characters. It is the most wonderful ongoing detective story. --Terence Woodgate, Royal Designer for Industry

About the Author

Nicholas Mee received his PhD in theoretical particle physics from the University of Cambridge. He is the director of software company Virtual Image and the author of many maths and science multimedia CD-ROMs. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miss Debs on 10 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
Having always been interested in science, I found the book fascinating and very informative. When I was reading it I couldn't wait for the next chapter. Questions about the fundamental forces that build up the universe were answered in depth, difficult concepts skilfully built up without the use of complicated mathematics. The electromagnetic, strong and weak forces are explained in an extremely clear and concise manner. Any difficulties and misconceptions that cropped up in my head after reading a more challenging passage, were addressed immediately in the following paragraphs.
I particularly enjoyed how the historical and biographical details gave an engaging insight into the lives of the scientists and their discoveries. The level was set just right for me and left me wanting more. I have put what I have learnt to good use, I feel much more confident teaching atomic structure and forces in GCSE physics. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone interested in the fundamental forces of the universe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Ebsworth on 11 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Opening sentences: "One hundred metres beneath the ground on the outskirts of Geneva, two protons slam into each other in a mighty collision. The tremendous release of energy produces a new particle, the Higgs, unseen since the very earliest moments of the Universe."

Memorable sentence: "Although some of the concepts of modern physics may be strange and even shocking, it is possible to express them in ordinary language, as I intend to demonstrate."

That's the very challenge which author Nick Mee then sets out to meet - and, for my money, he succeeds. I'm no scientist - failed each of my chemistry, physics and biology O-Levels abysmally. Barely managed to scrape through maths. But I am fascinated by science, by the need to understand - at least at a basic level - what makes the sky blue, the grass green, the planets revolve around each other and, indeed, what holds the universe together. And Higgs Force had brought me closer to that understanding in a way that no other "popular science" book has been able since Carl Sagan.

At one level, it's a Bronowski-like historical account of the steps humanity has taken since the time of the Ancient Greeks to get to grips with science and nature, and the giants who made those discoveries... Euclid's Elements, Plato's Timaeus, Newton's Principia, Gilbert's De Magnete, etc. At the same time, the explanation of those discoveries helps us, through Nick Mee's imaginative use of simple English, to build a model of the universe in our heads with all of its constituent parts and their scale. We might all understand that matter is composed of atoms, but did we realise that "one hundred million carbon atoms in a line would stretch a distance of just two centimetres"?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 May 2015
Format: Hardcover
There are plenty of books about the hunt for the Higgs boson, most notably Jim Baggott's excellent Higgs, so at first sight, Higgs Force, might seem to be more of the same, but in a couple of areas it is unparalleled in anything I've read in the field.

Where Higgs is very much the story of the hunt with a bit of physics thrown in, Higgs Force takes us on a journey through our developing understanding of the nature of the components of the universe, putting the eventual origin and significance of the Higgs field (and boson) into context.

It's not perfect, by any means, and I was on course to give it four stars rather than five. This is because it has a tendency to concentrate on the bit of the history of science that fit the picture that is being developed, and rather skims over, or even slightly distorts, those that don’t. A good example is the description of Dirac’s relativistic equation for the electron, and his prediction of the positron. The book gives the impression that Dirac stared into the fire for an evening then came up with the whole thing, which misses out a whole lot of duplication of other people’s work and near misses. But more importantly, this book is very much focused on the importance of symmetry and suggests that Dirac’s equation predicted the positron through symmetry considerations. In fact the equation predicted negative energy electrons, which brought Dirac to his outrageously bold suggestion of the negative energy sea, which is anything but symmetrical, and then to the idea that there could be holes in the negative energy sea which could be interpreted as positrons. A very different chain of thought.

However, the reason I eventually overlooked these foibles is that this book fills in the gaps that Higgs misses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Juliet Smith on 12 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
As a non-scientist, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first edition of this book. This new edition, brought bang up to date after the discovery of the Higgs Boson, equally didn't disappoint. With all the best bits of the first edition complete with more information and stunning colour plates this book is a must-read for all lovers of popular science. With Physics currently being such a 'sexy' subject and continually in the news or on TV - I would heartily recommend that you get this book, sit back and enjoy the journey from cover to cover.
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