The Particle at the End of the Universe: The Hunt For The Higgs And The Discovery Of A New World, is a rather long name for a book. As you may have guessed, the book is about physics, and furthermore the history of the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the LHC.
The book starts off very well, explaining some of the basic science behind particle physics. I think the book does well to bridge the gap of understanding that a non scientist might be at when considering the in-depth study of particle physics. The book then draws you in further explaining the creation of the LHC, and the various problems and hurdles that needed to be passed to create such a mammoth international project. I found it very easy to read up to a third of the way through.
In an attempt to further explain the system of particles, the book delves into some analogies and explanations that I feel weren’t planned out very well when considering how well the start of the book was written, maybe it’s a personal problem of mine with reading the writing style, but I felt at many times throughout the rest of the book, it got bogged down too much with the details without being cohesive with understanding the full picture of what is happening. Maybe it was something that editing then tried to clean up with more readable sections, but I feel a book should either be one of the other when looking at science, either focused on the details, or focused on the full picture of what is being conveyed. Or sectioned in a way that it goes between the details in a more fluid way.
There’s also a puzzling chapter on blogging and how details of the discovery got out, and how difficult it is with so many people to keep those kind of things under the radar till they are ready to be announced. I felt that whilst it was part of the history of the Higgs, it should have been 1 page instead of 20.
Overall however, I think the book does a good job of explaining particle physics, and specifically the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the LHC. I would have preferred if some of the sections had been written a little differently, and it wasn’t that it was because the ideas that were being conveyed were too complex or confusing, but rather they didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the book when reading it through.
A good read if you are interested in Particle Physics, that I enjoyed personally, but not brilliant in its readability as a whole.
- $11.06 or £6.99