On July 4th, 2012, one of physics' most exhilarating results was announced: a new particle – and very likely a new kind of particle – had been discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, the huge particle accelerator designed to reproduce energies present in the universe a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. The particle's existence had been speculated on for nearly fifty years: here, finally, was proof. Professor Lisa Randall of Harvard University is one of the world's most influential theoretical physicists, and author of the bestselling Knocking on Heaven's Door and Warped Passages. In Higgs Discovery she deftly explains both this epochal discovery and it's startlingly beautiful implications.
How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
Author: Lisa Randall
Pubpsher: Harper Collins
“Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands….How good it feels to have Lisa Randall’s unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side.” —Richard Dawkins “Dazzling ideas….Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.” —Steven Pinker The bestselling author of Warped Passages, one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” Lisa Randall gives us an exhilarating overview of the latest ideas in physics and offers a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives. Featuring fascinating insights into our scientific future born from the author’s provocative conversations with Nate Silver, David Chang, and Scott Derrickson, Knocking on Heaven’s Door is eminently readable, one of the most important popular science books of this or any year. It is a necessary volume for all who admire the work of Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Simon Singh, and Carl Sagan; for anyone curious about the workings and aims of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive machine ever built by mankind; for those who firmly believe in the importance of science and rational thought; and for anyone interested in how the Universe began…and how it might ultimately end.
The sublime evokes our awe, our terror, and our wonder. Applied first in ancient Greece to the heights of literary expression, in the 18th-century the sublime was extended to nature and to the sciences, enterprises that viewed the natural world as a manifestation of God's goodness, power, and wisdom. In The Scientific Sublime, Alan Gross reveals the modern-day sublime in popular science. He shows how the great popular scientists of our time--Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, Brian Greene, Lisa Randall, Rachel Carson, Stephen Jay Gould, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, and E. O. Wilson--evoke the sublime in response to fundamental questions: How did the universe begin? How did life? How did language? These authors maintain a tradition initiated by Joseph Addison, Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant, and Adam Smith, towering 18th-century figures who adapted the literary sublime first to nature, then to science--though with one crucial difference: religion has been replaced wholly by science. In a final chapter, Gross explores science's attack on religion, an assault that attempts to sweep permanently under the rug two questions science cannot answer: What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of the good life?
The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs, the Heart of the Future of Physics
Author: Jon Butterworth
Pubpsher: The Experiment
An award-winning physicist who led the historic hunt for the God Particle offers “an excellent, accessible guide to one of science’s greatest discoveries” (The Sunday Times). An Observer Top Ten Science and Technology Book Our understanding of the universe hinges on a baffling question: how does a sea of tiny, massless particles acquire mass? The answer, in theory, is a subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Sometimes called the God Particle, the Higgs is the missing link between the birth of our universe and the tangible world we experience. But for more than fifty years, scientists wondered: Does the Higgs exist? Physicist Jon Butterworth was at the frontlines of the hunt for the Higgs at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider—perhaps the most ambitious experiment in history, conducted deep underground beneath the border of Switzerland and France, near Geneva. In Most Wanted Particle, Butterworth gives us a rare insider’s account of that exciting, uncertain time when life at the cutting edge of science meant media scrutiny, late-night pub debates, dispiriting false starts, and countless hours at the collider itself. As Butterworth explains, our first glimpse of the elusive Higgs brings us a giant step closer to understanding the universe—and points the way to an entirely new kind of physics. “A vivid account of what the process of discovery was really like for an insider.” —Peter Higgs
In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
Author: Lisa Randall
Pubpsher: Harper Collins
The universe has many secrets. It may hide additional dimensions of space other than the familier three we recognize. There might even be another universe adjacent to ours, invisible and unattainable . . . for now. Warped Passages is a brilliantly readable and altogether exhilarating journey that tracks the arc of discovery from early twentieth-century physics to the razor's edge of modern scientific theory. One of the world's leading theoretical physicists, Lisa Randall provides astonishing scientific possibilities that, until recently, were restricted to the realm of science fiction. Unraveling the twisted threads of the most current debates on relativity, quantum mechanics, and gravity, she explores some of the most fundamental questions posed by Nature—taking us into the warped, hidden dimensions underpinning the universe we live in, demystifying the science of the myriad worlds that may exist just beyond our own.
The hunt for the Higgs particle has involved the biggest, most expensive experiment ever. So exactly what is this particle? Why does it matter so much? What does it tell us about the Universe? Did the discovery announced on 4 July 2012 finish the search? And was finding it really worth all the effort? The short answer is yes. The Higgs field is proposed as the way in which particles gain mass - a fundamental property of matter. It's the strongest indicator yet that the Standard Model of physics really does reflect the basic building blocks of our Universe. Little wonder the hunt and discovery of this new particle produced such intense media interest. Here, Jim Baggott explains the science behind the discovery, looking at how the concept of a Higgs field was invented, how the vast experiment was carried out, and its implications on our understanding of all mass in the Universe.