Avoid the Christmas Rush!

By Sean Carroll | August 9, 2012 3:34 pm

Hard to believe I wrote another book. How did that happen? But it must be true, as The Particle at the End of the Universe is now available for pre-order on Amazon and elsewhere. Back to real work for me, for the foreseeable future. (Unless someone wants to give me a million dollars, which to date they have been reluctant to do.)

I’m actually putting finishing touches on the copyediting as we speak. Events have prodded the publisher to move up the release date quite a bit (as I expected), so now it’s coming out in November rather than in February. So we’ve been in a mad dash against the clock, although I’ve tried my best to be careful in the actual writing. And many people have been extremely generous with their time, reading over chapters and talking with me about the issues. Compared to From Eternity to Here, this book is obviously less about presenting a novel take on some deep issues in physics and more about helping people understand why the Higgs boson is important, and how the experiments actually look for the thing. But there are a couple of chapters in there where I get to try to explain gauge invariance, connections, and symmetry breaking. I can’t help myself; it’s in my nature.

Speaking of generosity, even with the short timescale I scored pretty big with the back-cover blurbs. Check these out:

“In this superb book, Sean Carroll provides a fascinating and lucid look at the most mysterious and important particle in nature, and the experiment that revealed it. Anyone with an interest in physics should read this, and join him in examining the new worlds of physics to which this discovery may lead.”

–Leonard Mlodinow, author of The Drunkard’s Walk

“Carroll tells the story of the particle that everyone has heard of but few of us actually understand. After you read his book — an enticing cocktail of personal anecdote, clever analogy, and a small dose of mind-bending theory — you will truly grasp why the Higgs boson has been sought after for so long by so many. Carroll is a believer in big science asking big questions and his beliefs are infectious and inspiring.”

–Morgan Freeman, Actor and Executive Producer of Through the Wormhole

“The science is authoritative, yet bold and lively. The narrative is richly documented, yet full of human drama. Carroll’s saga pulls you aboard a modern voyage of discovery.”

–Frank Wilczek, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics

If only the actual writing in the book could be that good! “Obtain blurbs from Oscar winner and Nobel laureate for same book” is now checked off my bucket list.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Higgs, Personal, Words
  • asad

    “Obtain blurbs from Oscar winner and Nobel laureate for same book” is now checked off my bucket list.

    Ouch…poor Leonard Mlodinow!

  • http://www.flisser.com Bob F.

    I just ordered the Kindle edition. Looking forward to it. And congrats!

  • Anne

    My blurb:

    “I laughed, I cried, I understood a whole bunch. Not only can he explain particle physics, he can wield a mean semicolon.”

    Please forgive all the commas added and commas deleted and dumb queries. I hope you realize how much I liked your book; can’t wait to give it as Christmas presents.

    Anne, the copy editor

    • https://plus.google.com/118265897954929480050/posts Sean Carroll

      Anne, you were an awesome copy editor, saving me from all sorts of mistakes. But I do love my semicolons.

      (Is “copy editor” really two words?)

  • gerard

    i am very much looking forward to this book

  • http://math-frolic.blogspot.com Shecky R

    You still need to get a blurb from Taylor Swift…. (or has Leonard won a Grammy?)

  • http://www.physicistonedge.blogspot.com Deborah Leddon

    Looking forward to reading it for a review article on my blog.

  • Janne

    Please make sure that the formatting of the Kindle edition is as good as the paper version. I’ve seen too many (especially non-fiction) books where the Kindle edition sucks, forcing me either not to buy them or get the bulky paper versions.

    • https://plus.google.com/118265897954929480050/posts Sean Carroll

      The Kindle edition of From Eternity to Here was quite well done, and it’s the same publisher, so I’m optimistic. But it’s essentially out of my hands.

  • http://twitter.com/sc_k Sarah Kavassalis

    Those back-cover blurbs are fantastic. Congrats, Sean. I hope this is a best seller.

  • Brent

    ““Obtain blurbs from Oscar winner and Nobel laureate for same book” is now checked off my bucket list.”

    To be fair, one of them has little to do with physics. Why not throw in blurbs from an “Olympic platform diving champion, fortune 500 CEO, and Newbery Medal winner”?

  • J.J.E.

    “Obtain blurbs from Oscar winner and Nobel laureate for same book” is now checked off my bucket list.

    How about:

    “Obtain blurbs from Nobel laureate and Oscar winning The Bucket List actor for same book” is now checked off my bucket list.

  • Ray Gunn

    #11 @Brent. I beg to differ; Wilczek and the Nobel have a lot to do with physics.

  • Ray Gedaly

    Please tell me that you describe the different contributions to particle mass, of which the Higgs field is only one.

  • http://empiricalperspectives.blogspot.com/ James Goetz

    Congratulations : -) I look forward to this book and am currently enjoying your first trade book. By the way, Did the editors let you slip in comments about this summer’s breakthrough discovery of Higgs? I know that discoveries and editorial deadlines do not always coincide.

  • Ray Gedaly

    Hopefully you also address the relationship of the Higgs to the concept of mass as described in classical physics, particularly special and general relativity, and the law of conservation of matter and energy. If not, then perhaps you will consider discussing it here in your blog?

    Regarding my previous comment (#14), I read so much conflicting information about the Higgs — that it assigns mass to “everything” or only to bosons or only to fermions, etc. — that I’m left confused as to what is correct? Please consider discussing this in your blog as well.


  • dmchorn

    I will avoid the Christmas rush as I always do: by avoiding Christmas. (Wait…”Christmas rush”? You’re still an atheist aren’t you?)

  • Gary

    Capitalism doesn’t actually suck: you didn’t author your own book (for the $$$), someone else made it happen (so send me my free copy).

    Easy chair, popcorn. Waiting.

  • meh

    As I have OCD, I’ll be ordering 3…3…3…

  • http://empiricalperspectives.blogspot.com/ James Goetz

    Okay, I read the book description at Amazon that assumes this summer’s discovery. So great, your publisher evidently wisely allowed you to fit that in to the final version.

  • http://www.astro.multivax.de:8000/helbig/helbig.html Phillip Helbig

    “Obtain blurbs from Oscar winner and Nobel laureate for same book” is now checked off my bucket list.

    Aahhh, but do you have a finite Erdös number and a finite Bacon number?

  • http://dale_wright4669@hotmail.com dale_wright

    String theory and its origins.


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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