How to Find a Higgs Boson—and Other Big Mysteries in the World of the Very Small

How to Find a Higgs Boson—and Other Big Mysteries in the World of the Very Small - Ivo vanVulpen

[I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A good, solid read about particle physics in general, and the confirmation of the Higgs boson at CERN. The beginning may seem deceptively simple for a layperson who already knows the basics, but it's obviously here to pave the way for what follows, which goes a little more into the nitty-gritty technical details. Maybe someone who really doesn't know anything about physics might find it difficult to follow, although I'm not convinced; the way it's explained should take care of that. It was really interesting, and a testament, too, to what a venture such as CERN can accomplish.

Also, yet another proof that we really, really need to stop funding research and experiments according to "how much money we can make off it", because if this keeps happening, we'll just stop making new discoveries altogether. Another interesting side of this book was how it illustrated in which (often unexpectedly) physics CAN actually lead to very useful applications, even though the research may have appeared as random at first--PET scanners, for instance: who would've known?

The author's writing is easy to follow, both when it comes to the book's structure and to its translation. I'll have no qualms recommending it to non-physicists, and to physicists as well, come to think of it.