I just finished this book and enjoyed it. But - a caveat:
You really need to know some physics before you listen. I have a graduate degree in applied physics, and have read about quantum theory for years, so wasn't intimidated. But, if you have never had at least some undergraduate physics, I think you could be frustrated. It's not the fault of the author. He has two problems in telling his story: he can't explain all of physics in a book; and, the nature of the subject is completely unintuitive.
Even if you don't understand all the physics, you still might enjoy the people involved, and the history of the collider. It does give insight into the particle physics community.
One other small thing for me - I thought he went on a bit long at the end about why fund future physics. It started to sound a bit like testimony before a congressional committee. But I guess one is always required to explain the potential practical applications of anything in science, although personally, I think the answer "we need to understand the universe" is good enough.
Anyway, definitely worth reading if you want to learn a bit about the world of cutting edge high energy physics.
I loved this book. First - I found the story fascinating, the first year of the American Revolution. Like many Americans, I never had a chance to seriously study American history as an adult. Second - David McCullough is the best narrator on earth for American history. (If you aren't familiar with him, he is the narrator of Ken Burn's Civil War for example.) Third, the book is of manageable length - about six hours. Other books on this topic tend to be 30 to 40 hours long - for example Washington - by Chernow. The book is therefore more approachable if you want a taste of history without making a huge commitment in time.
Report Inappropriate Content