Higgs Force

The story of the greatest scientific discovery for 50 years.

Buy the paperback edition of Higgs Force directly from Quantum Wave, or buy the ebook now on the Kindle or iPad.

Higgs Force tells the incredible story of the most important scientific discovery of the past 50 years. It begins with the ideas of the Greek philosophers over two thousand years ago, and takes us on a journey through many of the most important scientific discoveries in history before bringing us right up to date with the discovery of the Higgs particle in July 2012.

The Higgs Force Timeline shows the journey to the discovery of the Higgs particle.

If you would like to sample the quality of the writing take a look at the articles on our
Breaking News blog.

There are lots of reviews here: Higgs Force on Goodreads

‘The book is excellent on several levels. It is well written, thoughtful, and engaging. The author presents the material with very little mathematics, making it accessible to nonscientific audiences. Summing Up: Highly recommended.’
CHOICE Review

‘A delightfully readable and accessible account of the search for the force which ensures that there is something rather than nothing in the Universe.’
John Gribbin, Astrophysicist and Science Author

‘A remarkable story told with lucidity and verve.’
Jonathan Evans, Lecturer in Physics, Cambridge University

‘… good reading for anyone interested in what today’s physicists are excited about.’
The CERN Courier, July 2012

‘Higgs Force takes some pretty high-end physical concepts and research and presents them in a format that pretty much anybody can start to get their head around, as long as they’re armed with a general interest in the subject matter.’
Blogstronomy

‘Higgs Force takes a new approach to contemporary physics, and makes notoriously difficult material accessible and approachable, very readable and entertaining.’
Tony Mann, President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics

Amazon US Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the clearest book on the history of physics, February 13, 2013

By
Philip G. Eidelberg (New Canaan, CT. 06840, USA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Higgs Force (Paperback)

Nicholas Mee’s work on the Higgs Force (2nd edition) is a brilliant tour de force.

It is first of all, a model of clarity which can be fully understood by the general reader with no formal background in physics.

Despite its title, the book covers not only the 50 year search for the Higgs particle but also puts it within the context of a general history of physics, with particular emphasis on the 200 years since Michael Faraday’s studies on electricity and magnetism. This historical perspective naturally serves to make the discovery of the Higgs much more understandable and interesting. It also gives the reader an excellent introduction to quantum mechanics which even today remains unfamiliar to most literate people, despite its centrality to any understanding of the century we live in.

Click here to buy Higgs Force.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

abhishek November 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

gud website

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JOHN November 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO OPEN THEORETICAL PHYSICS TO A LAYMAN. I AM PRESENTLY READING A BOOK TITLED “QUANTUM” BY KUMAR. IT HAS PROVIDED ME WITH A DECENT BASE OF UNDERSTANDING. I WOULD LIKE TO INCREASE MY MATH BASE, IF YOU COULD RECOMMENDED SOMETHING, IT WOULD BE NICE. I ALREADY TACKLED PHYSICS FOR DUMMIES, IT WASN’T VERY CHALLENGING. I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM WITH “DARK MATTER” IT SEEMS TO ME LIKE MAGIC, YOU CAN’T SEE IT, YOU CAN’T DETECT IT, BUT IT OCCUPIES 96% OF THE MASS OF THE UNIVERSE? SEEMS LIKE PEOPLE ARE FORCING IT’S EXISTENCE TO MAKE THEIR EQUATIONS WORK. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT EQUATIONS THEY ARE USING. I WOULD ALSO LIKE ALTERNATIVE THEORIES.

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Nicholas Mee November 26, 2012 at 8:28 am

The reason that physicists invoke the idea of dark matter is that there are two ways to measure the amount of material in the universe. One assesses the amount of material by determining its gravitational pull, the other assesses it from the amount of light that is emitted. All objects have a gravitational attraction, but not all objects emit light, so we would expect the first measure to give an answer that is bigger than the second. Before these calculations became possible most astronomers expected that most of the mass of the universe would be in the form of stars, which would emit light, so their expectation was that most of the material in the universe would be visible. It turns out however, as you say in your comment, that most of the mass of the universe does not emit light. The total gravitational mass of a galaxy can be calculated from the rate at which it is rotating, for instance, and this can be done quite accurately so there is no doubt that the universe contains a lot of material that we cannot see. Astronomers call this material dark matter simply because we cannot see it. The big mystery is: What is it? And this is where everything becomes much more mirky, because all the obvious answers, such as dark gas clouds that have not yet formed stars or burnt out star remnants cannot be the answer. The Big Bang model of the early universe works very well, but there would be serious problems with it if the universe had formed with several times more ordinary matter. For this reason, and I am skipping over the evidence here, most physicists believe that the dark matter consists of vast quantities of a relic particle that was formed in abundance in the early universe. But nobody will know for sure until someone finds it (or someone comes up with a better explanation).

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JOHN November 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm

ONE OTHER THING, I WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THIS WEB PAGE, DO I BUY A BOOK?

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Nicholas Mee November 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

The best way to support the website is to let other people know about it, and you would certainly be very welcome to buy a book as well.
Thank You!

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JOHN November 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR TAKING THE TIME TO EXPAIN A COMPLEX PROBLEM TO AN UNEDUCATED MAN, BUT YOUR ANSERW ONLY PROVOKED MORE QUESTIONS. WHAT “RELIC” PARTICLES, W/Z PARTICLES? BOSSONS, NUTRINOS, QUARKS ECT.. I DON’T EXPECT A PHYSICS LESSON FROM SOME ONE LIKE YOU, BUT IF YOU COULD GIVE ME A READING LIST, I WOULD APPRECIATE IT. REMEMBER MY MATH SKILLS CONSIST FO HIGH SCHOOL TRIG AND CALULIS, WHICH WAS OVER 25 YEARS AGO. PLEASE TELL ME HOW I CAN SUPPORT YOUR WEB SITE. I WILL ORDER THE DOWNLOADED “HIGGS fORCE” BOOK, BUT I CAN’T HELP BUT TO FEEL LIKE I NEED “PREP ” READING PRIOR TO THAT.

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Nicholas Mee November 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Higgs Force doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of physics or mathematics. There is a little bit of algebra in an appendix, but other than that there is no mathematics in the book – certainly no trigonometry or calculus. It is written at a comparable level to the articles that I have written for the Quantum Wave website.
With regard to your question, most particles that are created in particle accelerators are unstable, which means that they rapidly convert into other particles. Eventually the only particles that are left are a small collection of stable particles. These include protons and electrons from which atoms are formed, photons, which are particles of light and neutrinos. It is fortunate that these particles are stable because otherwise there would be no atoms and no light. Neutrinos were created in vast quantities in the early universe and are still being created by stars and supernovae. It was once thought that this might explain the origin of dark matter. However, we now know that the mass of a neutrino is too small to account for all the dark matter. Most physicists now believe that the dark matter is probably formed of another unknown type of stable particle that was produced in large quantities in the very early universe. Finding such a particle is one of the main targets of the research at the Large Hadron Collider.

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Muhammad Abbas September 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

Is this book available in Pakistan and where in Pakistan?

Thank you all for taking part in spreading this knowledge.

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Nicholas Mee September 10, 2013 at 8:41 am

Dear Muhammed
The easiest way for you to get the book in Pakistan is here on the Quantum Wave website:

Buy Higgs Force

or through Amazon.

Higgs Force on Amazon

Best Wishes,
Nick

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Jane Oldfield May 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

Hi Nicholas
Thank you very much for stopping me the Science Museum shop and signing your book for me 10 days ago.
Your book is just the one I was looking for – much more than just about the Higgs.
I have read several John Gribbin books etc – but lots of the early stuff I did not really understand – never mind beyond the electron, proton, and neutron. Your book is much, much clearer. My husband took me to the CERN contractors Open Day last September (he is involved in the design of several of their new control rooms).
I really want to understand more, not less so it gets into my painting etc.

I am on to my second read –with the Puzzles. Your Puzzle 1 should read ‘four equal triangles’ otherwise there is a 2D solution (I have a photo but can not attach it).
Also I have seen the Brocken spectre from a glider. You can see the shadow of the glider inside the circular rainbow on a cloud – no photo unfortunately.
I will certainly be buying your Gravity book –make it as good!
Jane

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Fritz April 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Thanks, I have both your books and am having great fun reading them over and over.

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Jaymin Vyas May 6, 2015 at 5:48 pm

I didnt find enough time during the day for some months, to read this book…..so i stopped reading newspaper during my travel to work, and now i read this – gets my brain “charged up” for the day. Superb content. Would thank Nicholas for the book, and of course the personal autograph when i got it last year during the book launch at London Science Museum.

Being from Finance, with a huge interest for Science too, I am pretty sure I will read over this book more than once, to get better & better insights. It has even got me interested in looking out for the stars mentioned in the book!

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