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Massive: The Hunt for the God Particle [Paperback]

Ian Sample
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Review

"'Wondering what all the hype over the Higgs boson is about? Look no further ... A hundred anecdotes bring the towering figures of particle physics and their key discoveries to life.'" (New Scientist)

""When the Higgs boson is discovered, it will be front page news, and this is the book that sets the stage. Ian Sample mixes cutting-edge science with behind-the-scenes stories to paint a compelling picture of one of modern science's greatest quests."" (Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here)

"Fine reportage ... makes clear the sheer achievement of the scientists and engineers who have built the LHC, the most complex machine ever made in the service of pure science." (Graham Farmelo, Guardian)

"A compelling work of popular science, full of mind-boggling ideas and a real sense of the excitement of scientific discovery." (PD Smith Guardian)

"This is Nerd-heaven. Finally, Particle Physics gets a proper page-turner. A smart, breathless race through Higgs, his tiny, tiny particle and the big, big search to find it." (Dara O Briain)

Book Description

"This is Nerd-heaven. Finally, Particle Physics gets a proper page-turner. A smart, breathless race through Higgs, his tiny, tiny particle and the big, big search to find it" - Dara O Briain

From the Inside Flap

In the early 1960s, three groups of physicists, working independently in different countries, stumbled upon an idea that would change physics and fuel the imagination of scientists for decades. That idea was the ‘God particle’, or Higgs boson – to find it would be to finally understand the origins of mass - the last building block of life itself.

Weaving together the personal stories and intense rivalries of the teams of scientists searching for the particle, Massive is a tale of grand ambition, trans-Atlantic competition, clashing egos and occasionally spectacular failures. From the giant particle colliders built to further the scientists’ quest to the political fallout of budget blowouts and debates over whether the search might even destroy the universe, it is an epic story of imagination, personal ambition, sub-atomic exploration and global significance.

Spanning more than four decades and dozens of false starts, dead ends and expensive mistakes, award-winning science writer Ian Sample has had unprecedented access to the key players in this story, including the reclusive theoretical physicist Professor Peter Higgs, the scientist after whom the particle is named. Until now, the story of their search has never been told, but with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, we may be on the cusp of discovering the particle and with it the very origin of mass. Whichever way you look at it, this story is massive.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In the early 1960s, three groups of physicists, working independently in different countries, stumbled upon the idea of a particle that, if it existed at all, would reveal the very origins of mass - the last building block of life itself. It was an idea that would change physics and fuel one of the greatest races science has ever seen. This is the gripping story of the hunt for the Higgs boson, a.k.a. 'the God particle'.

In this riveting journey through the brilliant and bizarre world of particle physics, award-winning science writer Ian Sample weaves together the stories of the teams of scientists on the boson's trail. Featuring the giant particle colliders built to further their quest, the clashing egos, spectacular failures and heated debates over whether the search might destroy the universe, it is an epic story that has never been told. And now, with the Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Geneva, we may be on the very cusp of discovering the particle and with it the origin of mass. Whichever way you look at it, this story is massive.

About the Author

Ian Sample is an award-winning science correspondent at the Guardian newspaper. He was named investigative journalist of the year in 2005 by the Association of British Science Writers. He was previously a feature writer for New Scientist and holds a PhD in biomedical science from Queen Mary, University of London. Born in Oxfordshire, he now lives in London.
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