“The discovery of the Higgs boson, which holds the key to understanding why mass exists, has just been disclosed by scientists and is on par with the splitting of the atom in terms of historical significance. Awarded author and Caltech physicist Sean Carroll take readers behind the scenes of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to meet the researchers and explain this historical event in his book The Particle at the End of the Universe.
The Higgs boson is the particle that more than 6,000 scientists have been searching for using the Large Hadron Collider, which is housed in a tunnel 17 miles in circumference and as deep as 575 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It is the largest and highest-energy particle accelerator in the world. It took ten years to construct, has cost over $9 billion, and involved the participation of engineers from more than a hundred different nations.
What makes the Higgs boson so unique? Until we discovered it, we weren’t sure if anything at the subatomic scale had any mass. Despite the fact that we have now virtually solved the overall puzzle, there are still a number of unanticipated events and opportunities. A window is emerging into the fascinating and occasionally terrifying world of dark matter. The electron was only found a little over a century ago and given where it led us—from nuclear energy to quantum computing—the discoveries that will come from the finding of the Higgs boson will be paradigm-shifting.
The significance of the Higgs boson and the Large Hadron Collider project are both explained in The Particle at the End of the Universe. Sean Carroll investigates all the scheming, negotiating, and occasional skullduggery that goes into undertakings this size. The greatest scientific discovery of our time is the subject of this captivating tale, which features people who are currently in line to receive numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize.”