AboutBooksExcerptsMediaPapersContactBuy the book



"John Moffat's book is an unusual mixture of scientific writing, detective story, and romance. It takes us on a very personal quest of understanding the nature of the new particle discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012, highlighting the drama leading to this major discovery and the author's own alternative theoretical views challenged by the ATLAS and CMS experiment data. The author cleverly mixes scientific sections with a day-to-day account of the events that led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson and its aftermath. This is delightful reading for anyone interested in big science and theoretical ideas that led to the development of the standard model of particle physics. It is a passionate personal account of one of the most significant discoveries in particle physics of the past few decades."
     — Greg Landsberg, Brown University, CMS Physics Coordinator 2012-2013

"John Moffat has written a fascinating insider's account of the international struggle of theoretical and experimental physicists to understand the origin of mass, and to develop a simple unified theory of fundamental forces. Unlike most popular books, which focus on just the leading theory, Cracking the Particle Code describes how a plethora of competing ideas arose over the last five decades and how a combination of intuition, mathematical reasoning, and extraordinary technology is being applied to decide the issue."
     — Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science, Princeton University

Buy the book | Published by Oxford University Press


Canadian edition

An entertaining memoir about the peculiar and competitive world of modern physics.
(Adapted from the publisher's book jacket)

John W. Moffat was a poor student of math and science. That is, until as a young man in the early 1950s in Copenhagen he read Einstein's famous paper on general relativity and Einstein's current work seeking a unified theory of gravity and electromagnetism. Realizing that he had an unusual and unexplained aptitude for understanding complex physics and mathematics, Moffat wrote two papers based on Einstein's unified field theory. Soon, he found himself being interviewed by Denmark's most famous physicist, Niels Bohr, and giving a seminar on unified theory at the Niels Bohr Institute. When he faced derision and criticism of Einstein's current research by the audience of physicists at the Bohr Institute, Moffat went home and wrote a letter to Einstein that would change the course of his life. Einstein replied to Moffat and they exchanged a series of letters in which they discussed both technical matters relating to the scientific papers and their views on the current state of physics. This correspondence led to Moffat being interviewed by influential physicists in Britain and Ireland, including Erwin Schrödinger. Their recommendations resulted in Moffat being enrolled in the PhD physics program at Trinity College, Cambridge, the first student in the College's 400-year history to be enrolled without an undergraduate degree.
Moffat and Einstein did not continue their correspondence, as the great man died shortly after Moffat began his studies. However, Moffat continued, over the next fifty years, to modify and expand on Einstein's theory of gravity.
Einstein Wrote Back tells the story of Moffat's unusual entry into the world of academia and documents his career at the frontlines of twentieth-century physics as he worked and studied under some of the greatest minds in scientific history, including Niels Bohr, Fred Hoyle, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrödinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Abdus Salam, among others.
Taking readers inside the classrooms and minds of these "giants" of modern science, Moffat affectionately exposes the foibles and eccentricities of these great men, as they worked on the revolutionary ideas that, today, are the very foundation of modern physics and cosmology.

Buy the book | Published by Thomas Allen

View the photo section

Watch the promo video on YouTube


Canadian edition


A bold revision of one of the most successful theories of all time: Einstein's general theory of relativity. Physicists have long known that something is wrong with gravity. Einstein's relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics are fundamentally incompatible, which has prompted the last 30 years of work in string theory and quantum gravity. However, John Moffat has identified a bigger problem: not only does Einstein's theory not work in the world of the very small; it does not seem to work in the world of the very large either. Moffat has developed a modified theory of gravity, or MOG, that can explain the behaviour of our universe as well as Einstein's, without resorting to dubious, yet long-claimed excuse for the existence of invisible "dark matter." Now, for the first time, Reinventing Gravity introduces general readers to Moffat's groundbreaking new ideas about the universe.

Buy the book | Published by Thomas Allen

Read an excerpt

Watch videos

U.S. edition

U.S. edition published by Harper Collins

Buy the book

  visits to this site since November 1, 2008.
Copyright (c) John W. Moffat 2008
Galaxy photo: NASA, ESA and A. Nota (STScI/ESA) | Site design: Tina Sequeira