What is so special about the headline-making Higgs boson particle? Until physical evidence of a new particle was produced in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider—a particle that physicists are convinced is the Higgs boson—we didn't really know for sure if anything at the subatomic level had any mass at all, notes physicist Sean Carroll. And while we have now essentially solved the mass puzzle, there are things we didn't predict and possibilities we haven't yet dreamed; a doorway is opening into the mind-boggling, somewhat frightening world of dark matter, Carroll tells us here, as he lucidly explains the importance of the Higgs boson and the Large Hadron Collider project itself.
"[The] writing is accessible and peppered with cultural references ... but don't be fooled; Carroll isn't afraid to wade into topics that have befuddled even brand-name physicists."—Wired
"Carroll keeps it real, getting at the complex guts of cutting-edge cosmology in discussions that will challenge fans of Hawking's A Brief History of Time."—Washington Post
"In describing how the Higgs boson was detected after decades of theoretical speculation, Carroll covers a wide swath of science, from the Big Bang to quantum mechanics, as well as the thorny politics behind funding the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, where experiments established the particle's existence. Along with an overview of abstract concepts like supersymmetry, Carroll more lightheartedly explains why Hollywood loves science and why the world wasn't likely to end if the collider inadvertently created a mini-black-hole. A first-rate physics guide that enlarges our understanding of the universe we live in."—Booklist