Massive by Ian Sample
In the early 1960s, three groups of physicists, working independently in different countries, stumbled upon an idea that would change physics and fuel the imagination of scientists for decades. That idea was the 'God particle', or Higgs boson - to find it would be to finally understand the origins of mass - the last building block of life itself. Weaving together the personal stories and intense rivalries of the teams of scientists searching for the particle, "Massive" is a tale of grand ambition, trans-Atlantic competition, clashing egos and occasionally spectacular failures. From the giant particle colliders built to further the scientists' quest to the political fallout of budget blowouts and debates over whether the search might even destroy the universe, it is an epic story of imagination, personal ambition, sub-atomic exploration and global significance. Spanning more than four decades and dozens of false starts, dead ends and expensive mistakes, award-winning science writer Ian Sample has had unprecedented access to the key players in this story, including the reclusive theoretical physicist Professor Peter Higgs, the scientist after whom the particle is named. Until now, the story of their search has never been told, but with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, we may be on the cusp of discovering the particle and with it the very origin of mass. Whichever way you look at it, this story is massive.