If the universe is the answer, what is the question?
The book of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman is about the Higgs boson, which the author dubs the God Particle because the publisher wouldn’t let him call it the Goddamn Particle.
According to Wikipedia, the Higgs boson refers to an elementary particle in the standard model of particle physics produced by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field.
The particle is named after British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, who proposed in 1964 the Higgs mechanism to explain why some particles have mass.
It was discovered in 2012 by the experiments at CERN. Hence, the particle was only a hypothesis in the early 1990s when Lederman worked on this book, The God Particle.
However, it is worth reading this 30-year-old physics book _ it offers very detailed explanations about so many significant particles and experiments throughout history.
There are some theoretical parts, which would be difficult for average readers. But overall, most parts are understandable.
Unlike other popular physics books written by theoretical physicists, this book is authored by an experimenter to give unique perspectives _ Lederman was the director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
This book has a subtitle, “If the universe is the answer, what is the question?”
And Lederman concludes this book as follows.
“Now our colleagues are debating a subject that has only one piece of data: the existence of a universe,” he wrote.
“This, of course, brings us to the whimsical subtitle of our book: the universe is the answer, but damned if we know the question.”