If you have some background in relativity and quantum physics, and don't want to listen to another book where half of it is a review of Newton and Einstein, this is for you. Smolin discusses some of the problems with the reigning paradigms, mainly String Theory, and then offers some promising alternatives, which, sadly, get too little attention. He ends with a philosophical discussion of why we need people who "color outside the lines" to advance the field of quantum gravity, which has reached stagnation. This book applies to all fields where new ideas and speculation is suppressed by the reigning theorists.
Butterworth doesn't cater to the novice. He gets right into the details, but mixes it up with his travel experiences to keep the reader's head from exploding. Don't bother if you do not have a basic knowledge of particle physics. It's a book about the current events at LHC and will be consigned to the dustpan of history in a year or two. The author, I feel, thought this also, which is why it seems so hastily written. No Pulitzer Prize here.
I'm still waiting for the book on the engineering and technology that went into building the incredible LHC. This is a very focused writing on the search for the Higgs from a theoretician's viewpoint. There is also a lot of repetition.
I still can't get over how the Brits say naught point one, instead of zero point one. I had me confused for a few sub-chapters.
If you have a knowledge of particle physics, you can lean some things. If not, you will never stand to finish this one.
The reader does an excellent job on this very fine work of literature. I started reading the paper copy, but enjoyed the narration better. Dr. Mukherjee should be in line for a Pulitzer Prize for this timely book about a raging epidemic.
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