Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution

Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution

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by John Gribbin
     
 

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Erwin Schrödinger is the grandfather of quantum physics best known for his thought experiment of a cat in a box, simultaneously dead and alive, which demonstrated the maddening absurdity of quantum physics. Author of the bestselling classic In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, John Gribbin now explores the physicist behind the box.

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Overview

Erwin Schrödinger is the grandfather of quantum physics best known for his thought experiment of a cat in a box, simultaneously dead and alive, which demonstrated the maddening absurdity of quantum physics. Author of the bestselling classic In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, John Gribbin now explores the physicist behind the box.

Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution is a riveting biography of a giant of physics who was as passionate about philosophy and Eastern religion as he was about science, who broke social convention to the detriment of his career, and who was a reluctant revolutionary of quantum physics. Raised on the scientific tradition of the nineteenth century, Erwin Schrödinger's major contribution to the new science of the twentieth century was his masterpiece wave theory of quanta for which he received a Nobel Prize. Schrödinger remains an integral part of the new physics of the twenty-first century.

Few scientists are known as snappy dressers, but Schrödinger sometimes made Einstein look like a fashion icon. On one occasion he had trouble gaining admission to an important scientific meeting because of his bedraggled appearance. Far more problematic were his unorthodox domestic arrangements. He horrified the old-fashioned establishment at Oxford when he turned up in England with both his wife and his mistress, and he was later not considered for a job at Princeton, working alongside Einstein, for the same reason.

More than a century after the first skirmishes of the quantum revolution, it may be difficult to understand what a profound shock it was for brilliant scientists like Schrödinger and Einstein to be confronted by the specter of uncertainty at the atomic level. Gribbin creates an almost wistful picture of the solid, predictable universe understood by Newtonian physicists—a world in which immutable laws of nature governed every micron of movement in a clockwork system. How, then, could an electron be in two places at once, or move from one place to another without passing through the space between, or be in no definable place at all? John Gribbin explains the complexity of quantum mechanics, as well as the complex character of this quantum pioneer, in his signature, lucid approach that any curious mind can understand.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781118299265
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
04/08/2013
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
742,301
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

JOHN GRIBBIN is one of today's most successful and prolific writers of popular science. He is the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, In Search of the Multiverse, and Alone in the Universe. He trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

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