> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9780753541531
  • Imprint: Virgin Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $32.99


The Higgs Boson and the Greatest Hunt in Science: Updated Edition

Now fully updated - this is the dramatic and gripping account of the greatest scientific discovery of our time

In the early 1960s, three groups of physicists, working independently in different countries, stumbled upon an idea that would change physics and fuel the imagination of scientists for decades. That idea was the Higgs boson – to find it would be to finally understand the origins of mass – the last building block of life itself. Now, almost 50 years later, that particle has finally been discovered.

Award-winning science writer Ian Sample weaves together the personal stories and intense rivalries of the teams of scientists behind the Higgs boson. Massive is a tale of grand ambition, trans-Atlantic competition, clashing egos and occasionally spectacular failures. From the giant particle colliders built to further the scientists' quest to the political fallout of budget blowouts, debates over whether the search might even destroy the universe, to the incredible discovery of the particle itself, this is an epic story of imagination, personal ambition, sub-atomic exploration and global significance.

Whichever way you look at it, this story is massive.

  • Pub date: 1 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9780753541531
  • Imprint: Virgin Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Ian Sample

Ian Sample is an award-winning science correspondent at the Guardian newspaper. He was named investigative journalist of the year in 2005 by the Association of British Science Writers and was previously a feature writer for New Scientist. He holds a PhD in biomedical science from Queen Mary, University of London. Born in Oxfordshire, he now lives in London.

Praise for Massive

“Fine reportage ... makes clear the sheer achievement of the scientists and engineers who have built the LHC, the most complex machine ever made in the service of pure science.”

Graham Farmelo, Guardian

“A fast-moving narrative ... a great scientific adventure.”

Frank Close, BBC Focus Magazine

“This is nerd heaven. Finally, particle physics gets a proper page-turner. A smart, breathless race through Higgs, his tiny, tiny particle and the big, big search to find it.”

Dara O Briain

“The biggest scientific discovery of the 21st century. Period”


“A compelling work of popular science, full of mind-boggling ideas and a real sense of the excitement of scientific discovery”


Related titles