Reviews

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RS Winton Prize 2015 shortlist logo… of Smashing Physics/Most Wanted Particle/Der Kosmos im Crashtest

“Most of the existing popular accounts of the events leading up to the July 2012 discovery claim at CERN are written from a theoretical perspective by outsiders. Jon Butterworth is an experimentalist and is the first to give a vivid account of what the process of discovery was was really like for an insider.” Peter Higgs

“Butterworth is a stellar writer and teacher, and he employs a number of tricks to make Most Wanted Particle extremely readable.” Brett Szmajda in Universe Today

“… serious about the concepts, written in an accessible language and a page-turner, all at the same time. Smashing Physics stands out by being all of these things.” IoP Science

“Most Wanted Particle Will Make You Smarter”. Review by Teresa Jackson at News for Shoppers.

“Butterworth is an insider’s insider. His narrative seethes with insights on the project’s science, technology and ‘tribes’, as well as his personal (and often amusing) journey as a frontier physicist.” Nature (link)

Monica Grady‘s book of the year (along with Minecraft!) in Times Higher Education.

“Butterworth ranges far beyond billiards to find ordinary-world comparisons that clarify abstruse scientific concepts: in a smashed melon, a harp string, even a tooth left for the Tooth Fairy, he finds helpful clues for untangling conceptual complexities.” Booklist Online (under “Most Wanted Particle”, US edition title)

New Books for the Physics Fan, in Symmetry Magazine (under “Most Wanted Particle”, US edition title).

“If you like your science non-abstract and human, this is a great place to learn about the Higgs discovery story.” Peter Woit at  Not Even Wrong

Suzi Gage‘s Christmas Science Book recommendations in the Guardian.

Ratings etc on Goodreads.

“An excellent, accessible guide to one of science’s greatest discoveries…  vivid insights into the doing of science, including the customs of various scientific tribes at CERN…” – reviewed by Roger Highfield in the Sunday Times.

“The story is a highly personal one, told from the perspective of Prof. Butterworth’s own involvement with the LHC and specifically the ATLAS detector there.  I do not read enough popular science to know if this is a particularly original approach, but it struck me as so, and made the book more valuable and interesting than had it adopted a detached standpoint or been written by an informed outsider.” Review by Elon Dann, author of Clockwise to Titan.

the mix of technical description, anecdote and humour works brilliantly and feels completely fresh in my experience of science writing – it really unlocks the holy grail of combining entertainment and understanding. Mike Paterson of PFILM.

– riveting! Gonzo journalism but in the entrails of experimental particle physics Pedro G. Ferreira, author of  The Perfect Theory”.

“its conversational tone, its blend of explication and opinion, its self-deprecating humour and the occasional well-directed barb.”    “… charming, enlightening bulletin from one of the most exciting fields of human endeavour” – reviewed  by Graham Farmelo, in the Guardian.

“certainly recommend the book, and it might even make me get down some of these other Higgs search texts I’ve been shying away from. Smashing.” David McGloin, Dundee Physics

Review in New Scientist: “… contains a fascinating inside perspective of the discovery of the Higgs boson. It offers an insight into the intense, bewildering and intimidating media scrutiny that physicists aren’t used to, combined with intimate details about the life of a high-powered physicist and some lovely explanations of the physics behind the discovery.” However, though the reviewer (Michael Slezak) likes the “Physics” parts he isn’t keen on the the “Life” bits. Oh well, if you don’t want that, probably best skip it…

“Leap to the open clarity and gossipy fun of the next pellucid passage and read on. It is the postmodern way. And Smashing Physics is worth it.” Robyn Williams in Australian Book Review  (£). (Sort of the inverse review of the above!)

“For those of us who spent physics lessons gazing out a classroom window, he breaks down how the Large Hadron Collider has searched for the Higgs boson in terms you could have a stab at regurgitating in the pub.”    “During the Age of Enlightenment, such public discussion of discoveries was not unusual.” – reviewed by Dan Carrier in the Camden New Journal (my local paper).

“Readers who are willing to do a bit of work to understand the material will find this a smashing journey.” review in Physics World

Smashing Physics is a great read if you’re curious about the Higgs boson, the work done at the LHC, what it’s like to be a physicist or how life as a research scientist has to dovetail with the ‘real’ world in terms of politics, economics and justifying to the public why science is important and should be funded. If you’re remotely curious about the universe, read this.”  Steven Thompson at Physics Steve

It was also in the Observer‘s  Top Ten for May 2014.