The Particle at the End of the Universe

particleThe Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us  to the Edge of a New World
by Sean Carroll
Penguin Group
Amazon paperback price $14.50, Kindle $12.74

If you enjoy books on science written for a general audience, this one is likely worth your time. Carroll writes in clear accessible prose with a touch of humor.

He describes how the Large Hadron Collider was built, how it works, and what it does. He discusses other colliders and accelerators, including SLAC up the road from me and the recently retired one at Fermilab in the Midwest. He also discusses why the Superconducting Super Collider was never built.

He spends a lot of time on the Higgs Boson, and talks about how we will never see it directly because its life is too short, but how rather we must look for the components into which it decays. He also explains why the Higgs is important:

Without the Higgs, there wouldn’t be atoms, there would just be a bunch of particles zooming separately through the universe.

I guess that’s kind of important.

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