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The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

Escrito por Sean Carroll

Narrado por Jonathan Hogan


The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

Escrito por Sean Carroll

Narrado por Jonathan Hogan

avaliações:
4/5 (14 avaliações)
Comprimento:
10 horas
Lançado em:
Jan 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781470341145
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

Caltech physicist and acclaimed author Sean Carroll offers listeners this eye-opening profile of the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the mysterious Higgs boson particle, the subatomic building block that imbues elementary particles with mass. Here Carroll chronicles how such a complex project got off the ground in the first place and explains why this discovery is so important, and what it means for the future of physics.
Lançado em:
Jan 1, 2012
ISBN:
9781470341145
Formato:
Audiolivro


Sobre o autor

Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. His papers on dark matter and dark energy, the physics of extra dimensions, and alternative theories of gravity have been widely praised. He is also one of the founders of the group blog cosmicvariance.com, named one of the five top science blogs by 'Nature'.

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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    One of my all time favorites physics books. A beautiful compilation of discovery and explanation. From the Big Bang to the Standard Model interpreted with the new addition of the Higgs Field, this will become a classic in science.
  • (2/5)
    I was hoping that this book would provide a more thorough explanation of the Higgs Boson, at a layman's level, but it seemed to get lost.
  • (2/5)
    I didn't enjoy this as much as I expected to - unfortunately, I can't echo the other glowing reviews. The short chapters made the book choppy to read. While I felt that the author did a great job of explaining the the science, it was a bit too repetitive and became sluggish towards the middle of the book.
  • (4/5)
    Sean Carroll is a physicist by trade so knows his particles from his waves and fields. He presents a thrilling vision of the discovery of the Higgs boson and why it is so important to the fundamental search for the truth about Nature. Carroll writes well and holds the interest even through the unfathomable depths of particle physics and the Standard Model. I am not convinced that anyone outside the physics world will fully understand even the simplified explanation given here.
  • (5/5)
    This is a very well-written introduction to particle physics. I may have even understood some of it. It centers on the search of the Higgs boson (or at least a Higgs boson), which is a story of discovery in itself, but it also covers the entire particle zoo of the Standard Model. It's quite thought provoking, even for us non-physicists. It also provides a good description of how science works and some of the things that motivate scientists. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of insight on this intriguing subject. (I did notice one obvious error in the chart on page 294, which I assume was a printer's error.)
  • (5/5)
    I truly enjoyed listening to this book, though I readily admit I retained probably only 10%. This is my lack of science, nothing to be reflected onto the author! I wanted to "read" it mainly because my son is a physicist-in-training.Muons, gluons, smuons, muoninos....wow. Truly, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than I ever dreamt of, forsooth! So I understood less than 90% of the book, and I know I will retain less than that, but the overview was fascinating. Carroll wrote a very lucid account, to my mind, always (or almost always) explaining the terms he used. He interwove non-science stories into his tale, which made the book interesting to a non-scientific type like myself.The technical details which I have not been able to retain reflect on me, however, and not to his writing, nor to his tale of the LHC. I will be interested in reading the other reviews to see what the stumbling blocks were for other readers. One thing that I was a bit put-off by (but not enough to down-rate the book 1/2 a star) was that although he immediately identified a "fermion" as being named after Enrico Fermi, he did not identify a "boson" as being named after Dr. S.N. Bose. Hogan was the best narrator I have heard to date. No heavy breathing, no false foreign accents, no feeling of wishing he would clear his mouth, as many other narrators do. Reading non-fiction requires a different skill-set than readers of fiction require. I will happily listen to him again.
  • (5/5)
    Well written and easy to read.I'm comfortable with the topical material so it was made easier but I still would say that even with a limited knowledge of particle physics this book can be easily comprehended. It was great to get a complete picture of the history, search and finding of the Higgs as well as the supporting material. I've been a fan of the Cosmic Variance blog for a long time.
  • (4/5)
    I belong to a monthly “book ‘n beer” club with few rules and a penchant for eclectic selections that run the gamut from fiction to history to science. But I think the group was surprised when I suggested The 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 as the next book. Of the five of us, I am the weakest on the math-based science side, and memorably struggled with a Feynman selection some years ago. I tend to gravitate towards history, politics and literature, and in the science realm my comfort zone is in plate tectonics, human evolution and climatology. Physics, with its integral mathematical foundation, is by no means my strong suit. Still, I’ve been following the Large Hadron Collider story, and the announcement that the Higgs boson had been definitively identified struck me as pretty exciting news. Browsing at a local bookshop, I saw the Carroll book and was drawn to it. After all, this is cutting edge stuff, right? If I don’t know as much as I should about it, I should learn. That was my rationale when I brought the title to the group. As it turns out, I found the book accessible although quite challenging: I don’t want to suggest that Particle is an easy read. For the most part, unless you have a strong background in particle physics, it is not. In fact, I noticed that some unfavorable reviews criticized Carroll because his attempts to both describe the Higgs boson and to elucidate the characteristics of current theoretical particle physics often do not fully succeed for the layman reader. I’m not sure that is fair. You know what? Theoretical physics is not an easy subject. I read the entire book and I did not grasp all of the concepts. I feel the same way when I read Stephen Hawking. There are a handful of people out there who can describe inflation and the Big Bang Theory in a manner that even a twelve year old can grasp – David Christian of “Big History” fame comes to mind – but that is a rare talent. The Higgs boson makes inflation look like pretty elementary stuff in juxtaposition. Should we take Carroll to task for that? Well, I would say, yes and no, but for the most part I would give him a pass in this regard. Given the inherent complexity, I would argue that he achieves much of what he sets out to accomplish, and if a certain amount of persistence is required to navigate through the more difficult terrain, then so be it. At the outset, I should note that Carroll is an outstanding science writer, and his passion and enthusiasm for the subject is both infectious and exhilarating. To my mind, there is no doubt that he is dedicated to reaching the reader, fleshing out the topic and transmitting his own sense of awe at the universe to the average guy holding his book. If he is not always successful, it could be because many people grasping the covers of that book have almost zero familiarity with particle physics and have not been exposed to the subject for the decades since they got out of high school or college – and most of what they once learned is entirely dated and nearly obsolete. If you don’t know a lot about quarks – never mind muons – you will indeed be at a pronounced disadvantage when you read this book, despite the early chapters that try to bring you up to speed. For the next edition of the book – and I have no doubt there will be a next edition because it is such a fine book – I would recommend a glossary of terms and a lot more illustrations that the lay reader will find accessible. Illustrated endpapers or a fold out diagram of the standard model would be welcome. (To make up for my weak spots in this regard, I went online and found my own reference charts.) On the other hand, I would reject categorically those who claim that Carroll does not describe the Higgs boson with enough precision. I may have had difficulty with all of the players that comprise the full constellation of particle physics, but after reading the book I had a strong sense of what the Higgs boson does and where we would be if it did not exist. Again, particle physics is a difficult subject. This is not a book aimed at the lowest common denominator audience. Rather, it is indeed directed at an otherwise educated audience that seeks to learn more about the latest in theoretical particle physics – and Higgs is absolutely the very latest!Carroll weaves the narrative about the discovery of Higgs in with the larger tale of the history of modern physics, the story behind the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – which might have been constructed in the USA if it were not for so many short-sighted Republican politicians – and the teams of scientists that together behind the scenes engineer the great breakthroughs of contemporary science. On the one hand, you can feel the nostalgic sadness as he pronounces the demise of the days when a Newton or an Einstein can seize glory in a single stroke; on the other, you can sense Carroll’s palpable excitement as global networks of physicists work in concert to deliver the latest breakthroughs. Some aspects of this portion of the book are more successful than others, and the “cutting away from the action,” so to speak, to tell another story can occasionally be jarring. Still, I can see why all of these various elements are integral to the tale and why Carroll insisted on including them, even when the flow was sometimes awkwardly interrupted.As it turned out, the entire book club embraced Particle, the concepts mixed well with some high-test IPA’s at the next meeting, which I hosted wearing my new “F@#k Gravity” tee shirt! For my part, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a handle on the latest in particle physics. I can promise that if your science is as rusty as mine, you won’t “get” all of it, but you will very much enjoy the ride.
  • (4/5)
    A good overview of what the Higgs boson is and how we got to this point in our understanding of physics. Also how it is not really then end but a new beginning. We still don't know what Dark Matter or Dark Energy is.

    Very readable. Don't have to be a particle physicist to understand it.
  • (3/5)
    Perhaps I'm into science where you can see and touch stuff in my middle age but I found the constant need to talk in weird metaphors wearing. Otherwise an enjoyable read. Human interest with some tales of physicists and not just physics.
  • (2/5)
    This is for the non-science audience. Starts to talk about how symetries lead to the forces on page 150 however, and appendix one is okay as far as ' so what's Higgs now ? '