October 8, 2013
In the same year the World Wide Web, a direct spin-off of basic research and particle physics, went public, showing the world that opportunities for economic prosperity often depend on scientific research, Congress cancelled the Superconducting Super Collider project, thus denying the United States the chance to discover the “God Particle.”
But European science marched forward, and on July 4, 2012, the world’s largest particle accelerator discovered the elusive Higgs boson – the “God Particle.”
So what’s next? While most scientists expected a vast assortment of new discoveries, new “super” particles, and bizarre new forces, all we have so far is the single Higgs boson. The discovery, while important, has resulted in even more questions, the main one being, Who ordered the God Particle, and what is it telling us?
In Beyond the God Particle, Leon M. Lederman and Christopher T. Hill follow these questions into a vast new realm of scientific exploration, explaining why the Higgs boson (or something like it) had to exist, and how human beings will go about charting the new world that lies beyond.
Powerful new accelerators are now needed for the United States to recapture its leadership role in science and to reach “beyond the God Particle.” The authors examine futuristic projects such as Electron, Proton, and Muon Colliders, and Fermilab’s planned Project X, which will probe deeper than ever before into the depths of nature’s elementary particles and high-energy physics. As Lederman and Hill explain, the experiments possible with these new facilities will likely yield dramatic new technologies that could become the foundation of multi-trillion-dollar economies of the future.
Leon M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate, is the author of the highly acclaimed Quantum Physics for Poets and Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe (both co-authored with Christopher T. Hill), as well as The God Particle (with Dick Teresi). He has served as the editor of Portraits of Great American Scientists and a contributor to Science Literacy for the Twenty-First Century. He is formerly the Resident Scholar at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and he is director emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Christopher T. Hill, Ph.D. is the coauthor with Leon M. Lederman of Quantum Physics for Poets and Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe. He is a noted theoretical physicist and former head of the Theory Department at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.