God Particle CL

Leon M. Lederman, Author, Dick Teresi, With
Leon M. Lederman, Author, Dick Teresi, With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $24.95 (434p) ISBN 978-0-395-55849-2
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
The ``God particle'' of the title is Lederman's term for what other physicists call a Higgs boson--a hypothetical particle that might hold a key to the subatomic world of quarks and leptons. To find out if a Higgs boson indeed exists, this Nobel laureate in physics conceived of the Superconducting Super Collider, which, if constructed, would be the world's most powerful particle accelerator. Writing with Teresi (coauthor of The Three-Pound Universe ), Lederman first surveys moments of discovery from Newton to Einstein in a breezy, folksy style that can be annoying (``Galileo was an irascible sort of guy . . . . He could be a pain in the ass''). This style, however, serves the reader well when Lederman and Teresi enter the complexities of subatomic physics, clarifying the search for squarks and winos, grand unified theories, superstrings and dark matter. $100,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.)