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Massive: The Hunt for the God Particle [Hardcover]

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

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Product Description


'A fast-moving narrative ... a great scientific adventure.' --Frank Close, Focus Magazine

'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

`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

Book Description

The dramatic and gripping account of how one big idea has brought life and order to the universe, sparking the greatest race science has ever seen

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.

From the Back Cover

The dramatic and gripping account of how one big idea has brought life and order to the universe, sparking the greatest race science has ever seen, costing billions of dollars and the construction of the most complex machines ever made.

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 and was previously a feature writer for New Scientist. He holds a PhD in biomedical science from Queen Mary, University of London. Born in Oxfordshire, he now lives in London.
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