Review – The Particle at the End of the Universe

Cover of The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean CarrollThe Particle at the End of the Universe, Sean Carroll

I know I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately; yet another example of my whims, I think. There’s a few more physics books on my list to get to, too, though I might give them a bit of a rest right now. The problem with me reviewing all of these is, of course, that I wouldn’t know a Higgs boson if it came up and introduced itself. All I can say is how well I understand what the writers offer. In Sean Carroll’s case, I felt my understanding was pretty good: the chapters are relatively short and build slowly toward a sketch of the full picture, and he doesn’t use technical terms that’re too hard to understand or anything like that.

And while I don’t think I could explain much of this to anyone (except maybe the basic ideas about symmetry breaking, and fields), at least I’ve retained some of the information, which has always been my problem when it comes to math and physics. (That and my tendency to go, “Yeah, I can parrot back to you what you want me to say, but why is it that way?” until my teachers resorted to “because I said so!”)

Of course, this was published over a year ago now, so it’s probably out of date in new and exciting ways. I’m content to trail behind the leading edge, I think… One of my big hopes about my Open University course is that I’ll start to understand physics a bit more, but even then I think string theory and its ilk will be beyond me.

Rating: 3/5

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