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Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed
In this lively look at quantum science, a physicist takes you on an entertaining and enlightening journey through the basics of subatomic physics.
Along the way he examines the paradox of quantum mechanics—beautifully mathematical in theory but confoundingly unpredictable in the real world. Marvel at the Dual Slit experiment as a tiny atom passes through 2 separate openings at the same time. Ponder the peculiar communication of quantum particles, which can remain in touch no matter how far apart. Join the genius jewel thief as he carries out a quantum measurement on a diamond without ever touching the object in question. With its clean, colorful layout and conversational tone, this text will hook you into the conundrum that is quantum mechanics.
“Takes readers on a fascinating journey. Al-Khalili [uses] simple and clear language and he provides excellent graphics. This is mandatory reading for undergraduates with or without a science background.”—Library Journal
Best intro to quantum theory for non-specialists
- June 18, 2003
I became interested in quantum theory after reading Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe" about six months ago; since then I have gone to some lengths to find a book that would explain quantum theory in a way that was non-formal enough for me to understand but not excessively simplified. Until recently, I hadn't found any thing that fit this description -- until, that is, I ran into this book at my local book store. It is BY FAR the best explanation of quantum theory for someone who is relatively (or even completely) unfamiliar with it. The author explains the theory in a step by step fashion, not leaving anything implied or unsaid, but in no way is insulting to one's intelligence. As a philosophy grad student, I especially appreciated the chapter on the various interpretations of quantum theory, including the 'many-worlds' interpretation that reminded me very much of David Lewis's metaphysical system (in which all possible worlds actually exist somewhere). I bought this book at... read more
complex topic - wonderful book
By William Tillier "btillier"
- August 24, 2003
This book is beautiful in all aspects. It is very well written, interesting and has great illustrations. The author takes a very complex and many times seemingly illogical topic and makes it both understandable and interesting. We are also given alternative views and told when the state of the art falls short of understanding. I would like to see a second edition in 10 years covering new advances in the topic. One of the best books I have seen in science in the past few years.
Better than Quantum Mechanics for Idiots
By Robert Dell "Woodland Steward"
- August 21, 2006
This is a very good book for the math-impaired know-something-but-not-much crowd. I took a semester of physics (mechanics) in college, and have read "A Brief History of Time" and watched the PBS thing on string theory, and something about quantum physics on the Discovery Channel, and decided that I wanted to know more. Being over 50 with an aging brain, I needed something that wasn't too technical, that didn't go too fast, but wasn't a children's book, and this was it.
The first half of the book covers some history and the discoveries that made the development of quantum physics necessary. Also covered is the "weirdness" that seems to occur in the microscopic (quantum) world. I'll have to admit that on first reading, I only 'got' about 75% of what the author was presenting. If I read it again, I'll probably get more. And this is why I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5.
The second half of the book is not quite as brain intensive and covers speculation on the... read more
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