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Story of the hunt for the Higgs boson wins science writing prize

Nov. 26, 2013 at 3:57 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A book telling the story of the hunt for the elusive Higgs boson has won Britain's annual prize awarded to the best popular science writing.

"The Particle at the End of the Universe" by American theoretical physicist Sean Carrol has been awarded the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

His work beat five other titles on a short list and the prize, announced at the society's London Headquarters, brought Carroll $40,000.

"Carroll writes with an energy that propels readers along and fills them with his own passion," Uta Frith of University College London and chairwoman of the judge said. "He understands their minds and anticipates their questions. There's no doubt that this is an important, enduring piece of literature."

Carroll, who conducts research at the California Institute of Technology, said the award was "completely unexpected."

"It was a great thrill. I honestly thought of the six people in this room, anyone could have won," he told the BBC.

"I got the benefit of the fact that we're in Higgs mania and that people were really interested in it, but the disadvantage is that the Higgs is an abstract concept that people have a little bit of difficulty wrapping their brains around.

"They're talking about both esoteric aspects of science but ones that affect our lives in a tangible way."

Previous winners of this prize have included Stephen Hawking and Bill Bryson.

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