The Infinity Puzzle by Frank Close
How the quest to understand quantum field theory led to extraordinary science, high politics, and the world's most expensive ... and the world`s most expensive experiment

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Close is himself a physicist, and this is an insider's view of a complex but compelling story that changed our understanding of the nature of reality.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Speculation is rife that by 2012 the elusive Higgs boson will be found at the Large Hadron Collider. If found, the Higgs boson would help explain why everything has mass. But there’s more at stake—what we’re really testing is our capacity to make the universe reasonable.

Our best understanding of physics is predicated on something known as quantum field theory. Unfortunately, in its raw form, it doesn’t make sense—its outputs are physically impossible infinite percentages when they should be something simpler, like the number 1. The kind of physics that the Higgs boson represents seeks to “renormalize” field theory, forcing equations to provide answers that match what we see in the real world.

The Infinity Puzzle is the story of a wild idea on the road to acceptance. Only Close can tell it.

 

About Frank Close

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Frank Close is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and has just retired from his position as head of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. During his career he has worked closely with CERN, home of the LHC. He is a well-established science writer, and his recent short books for OUP The Void and Antimatter - have been very successful.
 
Published November 29, 2011 by Basic Books. 464 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by PD Smith on Sep 13 2013

Close is himself a physicist, and this is an insider's view of a complex but compelling story that changed our understanding of the nature of reality.

Read Full Review of The Infinity Puzzle: How the ... | See more reviews from Guardian

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