Monday, May 25, 2009

The God Particle

I have just finished reading "The God Particle" by Leon Lederman. First off I really enjoyed reading the book. He was one the great heros who helped build the experimental case for standard model of particle physics. The book is written in the Feynman style of popular science, that has long since been given way to bullshit PR books on stringy and insane theory.

Lederman guy was arrogant, but that is part of being a physicist. the book was clearly written just before the SSC got cancelled. If that had not happened we may already know about the Higgs boson.

I have one minor criticism of the book. WHY THE FUCK DID HE CALL IT THE GOD PARTICLE?

Leon named the book "The God Particle", because his publishers would not let him call it "The God damm particle", because is so elusive. But still calling the Higgs boson was clearly the worst decision of his career. In the book he complained about books such as the "Tao of Physics", as being misleading. This is true. I wouldn't mind but it is not clear that finding the Higgs boson would help with understanding the pattern of quark mass. The God particle is just such an emotive term.

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The worse thing is that Leon could apply for money from Templeton foundation. I really need some of that Templeton foundation money. I can't enjoy my late night Martini knowing that I have had to pay for the ingredients myself.