• Smashing Physics

  • Inside the Discovery of the Higgs Boson
  • By: Jon Butterworth
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 07-22-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.1 (527 ratings)

Regular price: $26.64

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Publisher's Summary

The first insider account of the work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the discovery of the Higgs particle - and what it all means for our understanding of the laws of nature.
The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And how has its discovery changed our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature? And what did it feel like to be part of it?
Jon Butterworth is one of the leading physicists at CERN and this book is the first popular inside account of the hunt for the Higgs. It is a story of incredible scientific collaboration, inspiring technological innovation and ground-breaking science. It is also the story of what happens when the world's most expensive experiment blows up, of neutrinos that may or may not travel faster than light, and the reality of life in an underground bunker in Switzerland.
This book will also leave you with a working knowledge of the new physics and what the discovery of the Higgs particle means for how we define the laws of nature. It will take you to the cutting edge of modern scientific thinking.
Jon Butterworth is one of the leading physicists on the Large Hadron Collider and is Head of Physics and Astronomy at UCL. He writes the popular Life & Physics blog for the Guardian and has written articles for a range of publications including the Guardian and New Scientist.
Jon has appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Material World, The Infinite Money Cage, BBC Newsnight, Horizon, Channel 4 News, and Al Jazeera. He frequently gives public lectures including at the Welcome Institute and the Royal Institution.
©2014 Jon Butterworth (P)2014 Audible Studios
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Austin on 12-31-14

Great story, Great book.

It was a little over my head, but that's what I was hoping for. The author get very detailed about his work without getting to complicated all at once. He tells you a bit, then tells a story about something giving you time to let it sink in, then explains a bit more. All without knowing that's what he is doing until the end, if you notice at all.

The narrator was fantastic. Very well done. I could have been sitting next to the author over tea and just been listening to a story.

I greatly enjoyed the inside story at CERN, and getting to understand how the process of "proving" the Higgs is the Higgs.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful


By Dave on 05-31-15

Very entertaining and even educational

I did not understand all the physics, but I really enjoyed listening to the book. The book actually made me laugh out loud at times. And it effectively describes what it's like to be an actual physicists in today's world.

The physics is hard to understand, but the life of a physicist is easy to understand and very interesting.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By iLard on 12-17-14

Identify crisis

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is well narrated, although distinctly "by 'eck" at times meaning Jonathan Keeble makes Jon Butterworth sound distinctly more Yorkshire than he is in reality! But he draws you in and it's well paced.<br/><br/>This book feels like it has something of an identify crisis because it does not comfortably mix the technical side of physics with social / people side of CERN. It's too technical for too long in periods for me to remain engaged and the social / people side is too weak to be compelling. That's not to say it is without merit but it has fallen short vs my expectations. I think this could be a must-read for a physics under-graduate or the like, but for the ordinary many on the street like me, I would not recommend it.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful


By mr Peter Mo on 12-24-14

Well read and informative.

This was a great addition to my physics collection. It doesn't really go into complex-hard to listen to explanations. It's well written, well read and funny. I recommend this to anyone who is at least remotely interested in physics.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Will on 01-14-15

Great recount of some amazing scientific history.

Very technical at points, but I wanted that. If you want want that, most of the really technical chapters are skipable and are written so that doing so does not impact the overall narrative. Very well done.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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