Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review: Smash! by S. Latta et al.

Smash! Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe with the Large Hadron Collider written by Sara Latta and illustrated by Jeff Weigel

Two teen-aged cousins visit the Large Hadron Collider (or LHR as it is often referred to) in Cern, Switzerland. Nick likes to draw comics, Sophie knows a lot of physics. They team up to find out more about the science of subatomic particles and the four fundamental forces. She explains a bunch of things to him; they also find out some history of the LHR and some of the work and discoveries accomplished there.

The book is a thinly-veiled overview of basic concepts of the Standard Model of particle physics. The story of the kids is not at all interesting. Nick has an idea to make a comic about their adventure--maybe the creators thought that was clever? Sophie is little more than a conduit for explanations. The jokes are infrequent and not particularly funny.

This is great as a high-level overview of physics but not particularly engaging as a story. I did learn things but I was not very entertained.

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