Quantum Physics for Poets

Quantum Physics for Poets

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by Leon M. Lederman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1616142332

ISBN-13: 2901616142338

Pub. Date: 01/28/2010

Publisher: Penguin Random House Llc

Quantum theory is the bedrock of contemporary physics and the basis of understanding matter in its tiniest dimensions and the vast universe as a whole. But for many, the theory remains an impenetrable enigma.

Now, two physicists seek to remedy this situation by both drawing on their scientific expertise and their talent for communicating science to the general

Overview

Quantum theory is the bedrock of contemporary physics and the basis of understanding matter in its tiniest dimensions and the vast universe as a whole. But for many, the theory remains an impenetrable enigma.

Now, two physicists seek to remedy this situation by both drawing on their scientific expertise and their talent for communicating science to the general reader. In this lucid, informative book, designed for the curious, they make the seemingly daunting subject of quantum physics accessible, appealing, and exciting.

Their story is partly historical, covering the many "Eureka" moments when great scientists—Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and others—struggled to come to grips with the bizarre realities that quantum research revealed. Although their findings were indisputably proven in experiments, they were so strange and counterintuitive that Einstein refused to accept quantum theory, despite its great success.

The authors explain the many strange and even eerie aspects of quantum reality at the subatomic level, from "particles" that can be many places simultaneously and sometimes act more like waves, to the effect that a human can have on their movements by just observing them! Finally, the authors delve into quantum physics’ latest and perhaps most breathtaking offshoots—field theory and string theory. The intricacies and ramifications of these two theories will give the reader much to ponder.

In addition, the authors describe the diverse applications of quantum theory in its almost countless forms of modern technology throughout the world. Using eloquent analogies and illustrative examples, this book renders even the most profound reaches of quantum theory understandable and something for us all to savor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2901616142338
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Llc
Publication date:
01/28/2010
Edition description:
NE

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Table of Contents

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................11
CHAPTER 1. If You're Not Shocked, You Haven't Understood....................13
CHAPTER 2. Before the Quantum....................41
CHAPTER 3. Light and Its Various Curiosities....................55
CHAPTER 4: Rebels Storm the Office....................83
CHAPTER 5: Heisenberg's Uncertainty....................119
CHAPTER 6: Quantum Science at Work....................149
CHAPTER 7 Controversy: Einstein vs. Bohr ... and Bell....................181
CHAPTER 8: Modern Quantum Physics....................219
CHAPTER 9: Gravity and Quantum Theory: Strings....................249
CHAPTER 10: Quantum Physics for Millennium III....................271
APPENDIX: SPIN....................289
NOTES....................299
INDEX....................329
INDEX OF FIGURES....................337

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Quantum Physics for Poets 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
steppenwolfSH More than 1 year ago
Physics for Poets, in its nicknamed meaning, has at its roots the deeper meaning of what some could see as an impossible rendition of what amounts to the deepest possible meaning to a topic seemingly impossible to comprehend. Physics IS poetry, whether you understand it or not. As is well known to those embedded in the search for what may be the impossible, creating a poetic rendition is the attempt to create a deeper meaning to the topic than the mathematical rendition itself. This book, as others prior, and even more current, attempts to create a meaning to the seemingly impossible, and, it DOES just that. Reading it seems to clarify, and at the same time, creates more questions as it attempts to answer others. At this level, quantum physics appears to be an impossible rendition to the basic elements of classical physics, and future attempts to answer those questions that appear to be impossible solution to the questions that have been near impossible to approach. Even when finding an answer to a deeper question, one is left with more questions than answers, yet, the meaning to the answers is where the poetry leaves one at rest; reaching for an answer, unfortunately seems to be an attempt at groping at near-impossible solutions to century old questions. Just knowing that one can identify at least partial answers is rewarding anough, and this book is a leader in finding such answers. Is physics for poets sufficient to leave the reader satisfied with what he/she has read? I believe so, for truly grasping at the intangible, and opening the doors to such a provoking topic is satisfying, particularly if the reader is willing to accept the near-impossibility of identifying answers that researchers have grasped for at least for two thousand years. A great read, and a greater insight into what we are surrounded by, at least when identifying that we still cant tell which way is up!