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Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  635 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
On July 4, 2012, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva madehistory when they discovered an entirely new type of subatomic particle that many scientists believe is the Higgs boson. For forty years, physicists searched for this capstone to the Standard Model of particle physics—the theory that describes both the most elementary components that are known in matter ...more
ebook, 112 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Ecco (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 27, 2014 Roger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to know who this book by Lisa Randall is aimed at. I would think its target audience is people who are scientifically literate but are not physicists, least of all particle physicists. After all, if it was directed at physicists it would be far more mathematical. Regrettably, if the intended audience really is scientifically literate. non-physicists, then I feel it misses the mark by a mile. I doubt that anyone who was not a physicist would understand much of this book. I had alre ...more
I like Lisa Randall, but her popular books are hit and miss. This one is a bit of a miss. Half of the 79 pages of this already-short book are recycled chapters from her other books. No wonder it's only $2.99 on Amazon! You get what you pay for. It seems like she really wanted to be first out of the gate with the whole Higgs discovery thing...

The explanations in the book are great for the novice/layperson. I actually learned a lot about how the different channels were pieced together to discover
Jul 28, 2012 Book rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space by Lisa Randall

"Higgs Discovery" this timely and topical Kindle Single, is written to enlighten the public to what the discovery of the Higgs boson means and to explain where it will take us. Influential and highly acclaimed theoretical physicist and best-selling author of "Knocking on Heaven's Door", Lisa Randall, gives the reader an intellectual appetizer on the implications of the announcement that a key particle, the Higgs boson was discovered. Randa
Bryan Higgs
Dec 04, 2014 Bryan Higgs rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
Because I was trained as a high energy particle physicist, and happen to have the last name Higgs, I am naturally drawn to books that focus on the Higgs Boson. In fact, I have read quite a few, most of them written before the discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN.

This book was apparently written in response to the discovery, and is an attempt to explain about the Higgs Boson. It seems to have been rushed into print for that purpose. It is a short book, and contains a couple of chapters at the end
This is a very sloppy book. The first chapter is a hodge-podge of hastily written facts and impressions of what the LHC discovery of Higgs particle is and what it may mean for the direction of theoretical physics. And that’s what’s original in this short Kindle special. The rest consists of two chapters from previous books just slapped together on top of this one. Sort of ‘I am excited about the new discovery so I want to share, but I am not going to bother to write a new book on it’ book.
I rem
Todd Allen
A short book that reintroduced me to the four fundamental forces: electromagnetism, weak-nuclear, strong-nuclear, and gravity (the latter of which was mentioned only in passing). Oh, yes, and a genteel recount of the author’s exposure to the behind-the-scenes activities at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland, leading up to the 5-sigma-confidence announcement by physicists that the Higgs Boson predicted by their standard model has indeed been proven to exist (provisionally, of ...more
Spyros Blackfinch
The discovery of the Higgs particle, a few things about fields and particle decay. It gets too technical although it's not a science textbook. Most non-physicists wouldn't understand a thing. I for one couldn't follow sometimes. Maybe it's the conditions under which I read the book (during a 4 day special forces training campaign) but still I believe it could have been much better in comunicating science.
Aug 12, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a quick publication, intended to come quickly on the Higgs boson discovery, but Lisa Randall is clearly one of the best people to communicate the importance of this find. She seems to have a good knack for communicating to those who have some knowledge of the matter, but not being too much out of reach. Half of this e-book is a reprint of two chapters from her other books, but the section on the discovery itself is well worth the price and effort.
Mohamed Nour
When I started reading this book, all what I was thinking of was that I'll finally be aware of the huge discovery & how it impacts the world; but unfortunately, all what I got is more new scientific terms that I may or may not search about later. I don't even know how many stars I should rate it.
Ami Iida
Mar 13, 2015 Ami Iida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics, astronomy
This document is explained to concisely the Higgs particle.
Then it explains the basic quantum mechanics related to the Higgs boson.
John Jr.
Dec 01, 2012 John Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most people who were paying attention to the news in summer 2012 will have heard of an oddly named subatomic particle. On July 4, teams of scientists working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that the data generated so far by a hugely complex and expensive machine called the Linear Hadron Collider (LHC) justified saying that they had discovered a new particle, which was likely to be a long-sought particle called the Higgs boson. Physicists were excited because th ...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Estaba escribiendo mi comentario a este libro, y mi comentario se fue por otros caminos, y el texto era bello, al menos a mí me tenía contento. Mientras escribía, me decía mentalmente que tendría que editar el texto y dejar solo lo que era relevante a la lectura de Randall, pero, quienes han leído mis comentarios en Goodreads saben cuál es mi postura.

No, no escribo reseñas. Mis calificaciones son guiadas por mi gusto, por el contexto de mi lectura, incluso (no ha sucedido aún, pero puede) podría
Courtney Williams
May 12, 2014 Courtney Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The book: Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space

The author: Lisa Randall, theoretical physics professor at Harvard University.

The subject:An explanation of CERN'slandmark discovery of the Higgs boson (or something that looks very like it, at least).

Why I chose it:I really like Randall's books – Warped Passages was what got me to finally chooseto study physics at university– so wanted to check this out.

The rating: Four out of five stars

What I thought of it: This was an even shorter read than I
Apollo Adama
Mar 22, 2014 Apollo Adama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
Probably the best book that explains the Higgs mechanism and it's relationship to the Higgs particle and possibly a Higgs sector with possible more than one "Higgs particle". She brings home the point that only further experimentation will illuminate whether there will only be one Higgs particle or not as the Standard Model continues to be worked upon.

I like that she points out that the Higgs boson is not a god particle, and what is truly important in how elementary particles get their mass is
Jason Kirk Review: Talk about fireworks. On July 4, 2012, researchers at the Large Hadron Collider--the famed European particle accelerator and Earth's biggest and most powerful machine --announced the discovery of evidence confirming the existence of the Higgs boson. This long-theorized fundamental particle has represented the Holy Grail for physicists exploring the world of the very, very small for almost 50 years, and its discovery paves the way forward for our understanding of a range of que ...more
Jun 26, 2015 Teejay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Please don't interpret my One Star as an intention to demean this book from a scientific perspective, or to be rude toward the author. There is "as much new information in this book as was available at the time it was assembled", and that new information is very informative. Her information regarding the decay vectors of the Higgs bosun were unique, and the first time I had a sense of some of their options. And yet: Read some of the other reviews about rush-to-print, Ms. Randall's "slapping two ...more
John Strubhart
Jan 16, 2016 John Strubhart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The verification of the existence of the higgs boson with high confidence by the LHC is one of the most important scientific findings on the 21st century so far. Predicted the in 1960s by Peter Higgs, the higgs field, mechanism and associated boson would in great part explain the masses of the elementary particles. Lisa Randall takes a very technical subject and turns it into physics for everyone - even people who can't (or won't) do math. No, you won't *understand* the physics involved, but you ...more
Geoffrey Irvin
Oct 28, 2014 Geoffrey Irvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Very brief, more a booklet, and a bit repetative of details, could have used another edit. But since the event it describes happened only in July 2012, and this was rushed to print, I guess that explains that. Saying this the well informed author Lisa Randall is able explain the relevance of the Higgs boson, and it's place in quantum theory with clarity and genuine detail, at least as much detail as the average science savy layman can understand. The author is a theoretical physicist, and does n ...more
Aug 18, 2012 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I suppose if I were a physicist specializing in subatomic particles, I would understand more of what the author is talking about. Take, for example, a quote such as the following:
Spurious polarizaqtions are the source of problematic predictions for high-energy scattering, so the symmetry allows only physical polarizations -- the ones that really exist and are consistent with the symmetry -- to remain.
Hoo boy! If I were a Tea Party type, I would at this point take out my checkbook and write a hug
Rodrigo Nemmen
If you have a physics background, this can be a fun and enlightening reading about the Higgs mechanism. Keep in mind it is not a book for a layperson. It helps a lot if you are majoring in physics or chemistry, or if you are a physicist or chemist. 16% through the book you find this passage: "the bump [in the number of events] isn't just a line". I know what she is talking about, but other people will be left kind of clueless. I found several other similar statements which require background in ...more
Tigran Berberyan
The book was very fascinating because I heard everyone getting excited about the discovery of the higgs boson but had no idea on its implication on science whether the implication is minor or extremely significant. This book made me understand and realize how great the impact is and the effects of higgs boson on our world.

The book explains in detail the workings of the higgs boson. However, the negative side effects of the rich detail is that the book has a lot of science jargon that is very ha
Jul 03, 2013 Vince rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, physics
The book is divided into thirds: a play-by-play of the discovery and two excepted chapters, one from each of her other books.

She is quality science writer (and physicist) that I wish I had checked out before now. Her writing has a slightly more technical feel to it than some other popular authors. I found her description of "symmetry breaking" to be more satisfying than what I have read elsewhere. She ably covers other theoretical and practical concerns as well.

A negative is that there is some
Mr Anthony Brearton

This book, although short, gives a thorough grounding to a complicated subject using language and examples that the non-scientific community can follow.
If you are interested in the strange world of quantum physics and want to learn more, or if the recent fuss made by reports of Peter Higgs and his boson (and Nobel Prize) has piqued your curiosity, this book is a great starting point.
A great read - thank you Lisa Randall
Very interesting even if a bit over my head - I realized that I'm more interested in molecular biology and genetics than particle physics but the Higgs discovery is such a vital part of current scientific discovery and thought that I wanted to know more. This straightforward and concisely written Kindle Single provided a nice overview of the Higgs theory that the layperson could enjoy.

Recommended for anyone interested in the recent work at CERN with the Large Hadron Collider.
Jim Aker
Oct 13, 2014 Jim Aker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This is a brief compendium of chapters from the author's current books on the subject of Quantum physics that are concerning the Higgs Mechanism, its subsequent effects and particles, and the acquisition of mass by gauge bosons and other particles. This Ecco Solo was written and published before the recent discoveries at the LHC in CERN of a Higgs Boson. It is well written, but not for the novice.
John Jaksich
Jan 19, 2015 John Jaksich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a straight ahead style, Dr. Lisa Randall portrays how a lot of particle physicists regard the discovery of the Higgs Boson. With much insight and analysis, she gives a good account. The offers a short synopsis and offers two excerpts from two of her previous books, Knocking on Heaven's Door and Warped Passages. I recommend this book for the hard core science lover. It is generally good but too short.
Mar 10, 2016 Jodi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not terribly physics-literate, but I think I still learned something from this short book. It contained content from three sources - one section Dr. Randall wrote for this book and two chapters from her other books. This approach meant there was some repetition of material, but I think that helped someone like me. I still can't claim to fully understand the abstract concepts that permeate the Higgs field, mechanism, and boson discussion, but I'm a little better off than when I started.
Apr 23, 2013 Loren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The excerpts are probably the best part, and they take up a substantial part of the "single."

The knowledge seems to come quickly when it comes, but there are a lot of parts where it seems to ruminate over the same ground.

Definitely not a book for everyone, but if you are interested in cutting edge physics.....this isn't a bad read overall.
Sep 21, 2015 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You could do a lot worse than this slim volume if you want to read about the Higgs boson or Higgs field. Like Wikipedia. Or you could find something more in depth like Particle at the End of the Universe. Not bad though really. Only about 1/3 of it is new material, the rest is abridged from the author's other works.
Laurène Poret
This book is a bit confusing because sometimes it explains really basic physic concepts and sometimes it expects us to know about some way more advanced concepts. It also tends to repeat itself and I don't think it would be sufficient reading for someone without scientific knowledge to understand the 'Higg's discovery'.
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LISA RANDALL is Professor of Physics at Harvard University. She began her physics career at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. She was a finalist, and tied for first place, in the National Westinghouse Science Talent Search. She went on to Harvard where she earned the BS (1983) and PhD (1987) in physics. She was a President's Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, a postdoctoral ...more
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“The particle’s discovery is tremendously exciting. It’s also inspirational. Let’s just enjoy that for now.” 5 likes
“Whatever has been found—the Higgs boson, the particular implementation of the Higgs mechanism that seems simplest or something more elaborate—it is almost certainly something very new. The interest from the public and press has been very gratifying, indicating a thirst for knowledge and scientific advances that humanity to a large extent shares. After all, this discovery is part of the story of the universe’s evolution as its initial symmetry was broken, particles acquired masses, atoms were formed, structure, and then us.” 0 likes
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