The announcement that researchers may have identified the elusive Higgs Boson particle, AKA the God particle, was met with a fair amount of silliness on the internet. By now, you’ve no doubt seen a cartoon or t-shirt trumping the news and I am sure the giddiness will continue as researchers determine whether the boson they’ve discovered is indeed of the Higgs variety. In the meantime, for those who want to understand exactly what this discovery means for particle physics, may we suggest a good starting point in Elementary Particle Physics in a Nutshell by Christopher Tully.
Tully is one of the researchers working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland and this book delves into recent experiments — how they work and what they’re looking for. Based on a course taught here at Princeton, it is intended for course use in first-year graduate or advanced undergraduate studies so it isn’t exactly beach reading, but it will bring you up to speed on everything and anything related to particle physics.