The Higgs Boson: Searching for the God Particle

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Scientific American, Sep 30, 2012 - Science - 231 pages

The Higgs Boson: Searching for the God Particle by the Editors of Scientific American

Updated 2017 Edition! For the fifth anniversary of one of the biggest discoveries in physics, we’ve updated this eBook to include our continuing analysis of the discovery, of the questions it answers and those it raises. As the old adage goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there is effect, there must be cause. The planet Neptune was found in 1846 because the mathematics of Newton's laws, when applied to the orbit of Uranus, said some massive body had to be there. Astronomers eventually found it, using the best telescopes available to peer into the sky. This same logic is applied to the search for the Higgs boson. One consequence of the prevailing theory of physics, called the Standard Model, is that there has to be some field that gives particles their particular masses. With that there has to be a corresponding particle, made by creating waves in the field, and this is the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle. This eBook chronicles the search – and demonstrates the power of a good theory. Based on the Standard Model, physicists believed something had to be there, but it wasn't until the Large Hadron Collider was built that anyone could see evidence of the Higgs – and finally in July 2012, they did. A Higgs-like particle was found near the energies scientists expected to find it. Now, armed with better evidence and better questions, the scientific process continues. This eBook gathers the best reporting and analysis from Scientific American to explain that process – the theories, the search, the ongoing questions. In essence, everything you need to know to separate Higgs from hype.

 

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Contents

Introduction
Gauge Theories of the Forces between Elementary Particles
3

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About the author (2012)

Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the longest continuously published magazine in the US and the home of the most exciting authors presenting the most dynamic ideas in science today. As the leading popular source and authority on science, technology, and innovation, Scientific American's award-winning scientist-authored content engages, educates and inspires current and future generations of curious citizens and public and private sector leaders. Together with scientificamerican.com, Scientific American MIND and 14 local language editions around the world, Scientific American gives readers unique access to the most important insights and developments in science and technology in the world today.

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