Title: Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Ray Jawardhana
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: Nonfiction, Science, History
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In this history, astrophysicist and historian Ray Jawardhana traces the hunt for the elusive particle known as the neutrino.
It seems strange to called a nonfiction work about science a “thriller,” and yet Ray Jawardhana accomplishes exactly that with his book about the neutrino. Scientists throughout modern history have chased this particle, trying to pin it down, and Jawardhana manages to tell their stories with suspense, keeping the reader hooked on the tale and looking forward to what’s coming next.
Neutrino Hunters features a lot of science, but Jawardhana does a great job breaking it down and explaining it in an easily digestible way. Not only that, but because of his focus on the scientists just as much as the science, the reader gets a balanced read, full of personalities and interesting figures as much as hard science. Jawardhana also does a great job setting his scenes in Neutrino Hunters, using vivid descriptions to really bring the settings to life.
If you enjoy scientific history as much as I do, then Neutrino Hunters should absolutely be on your list. Jawardhana is a talented writer, and he writes very well for the lay person, making concepts accessible and interesting, while managing to flesh out his book with an entertaining narrative that keeps readers invested. This was a great, suspenseful read that I highly recommend. If you aren’t a science reader normally, this is also a good starting point, as the science isn’t too complicated, and it’s just as much about the people as it is the concepts.