The first major biography of Peter Higgs, revealing how a short burst of work changed modern physics 

On July 4, 2012, the announcement came that one of the longest-running mysteries in physics had been solved: the Higgs boson, the missing piece in understanding why particles have mass, had finally been discovered. On the rostrum, surrounded by jostling physicists and media, was the particle’s retiring namesake—the only person in history to have an existing single particle named for them. Why Peter Higgs? Drawing on years of conversations with Higgs and others, Close illuminates how an unprolific man became one of the world’s most famous scientists. Close finds that scientific competition between people, institutions, and states played as much of a role in making Higgs famous as Higgs’s work did.  

A revelatory study of both a scientist and his era, Elusive will remake our understanding of modern physics.  


"In Elusive, Mr. Higgs’s friend and colleague Frank Close offers a sympathetic biography of the “shy, modest” man and famous particle."

Wall Street Journal
“An expert examination...Close, a science writer, Higgs colleague, and professor of physics at Oxford, illuminates Higgs’ personal and professional life.”—Kirkus
“A perfect marriage of subject and writer. With verve, insight, and rigor, Frank Close beautifully illuminates the life and times of one of physics’ great, unheralded giants. Elusive is a triumph of a book, and one worthy of its subject’s extraordinary contributions.”
 —Jimmy Soni, bestselling author of The Founders
Elusive is both a deep, exciting intellectual history and an elegantly told portrait of a quiet man whose “one great idea” changed modern physics forever. Close marries the exotic details of contemporary particle physics theory with the very human aspects of how that theory came to be. An enlightening read from one of our very best writers and practitioners of physics.”—David N. Schwartz, author of The Last Man Who Knew Everything
“Rich, compelling, and surprising. Fundamental physics can be equal parts awe-inspiring and head-spinning, and Frank Close masterfully captures those qualities in this deeply satisfying tale of Peter Higgs's convoluted, and very human, journey through life and science.”
 —Caleb Scharf, author of The Ascent of Information
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