Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness [NOOK Book]

Overview

In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science and the basis of one-third of our economy. They found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and anecdotes about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, emphasizing what is and what is not speculation. Quantum Enigma's ...
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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness

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Overview

In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science and the basis of one-third of our economy. They found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and anecdotes about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, emphasizing what is and what is not speculation. Quantum Enigma's description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is heatedly controversial. But every interpretation of quantum physics involves consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself--and encounter quantum mechanics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing. Readers are brought to a boundary where the particular expertise of physicists is no longer the only sure guide. They will find, instead, the facts and hints provided by quantum mechanics and the ability to speculate for themselves.

In the few decades since the Bell's theorem experiments established the existence of entanglement (Einstein's "spooky action"), interest in the foundations, and the mysteries, of quantum mechanics has accelerated. In recent years, physicists, philosophers, computer engineers, and even biologists have expanded our realization of the significance of quantum phenomena. This second edition includes such advances. The authors have also drawn on many responses from readers and instructors to improve the clarity of the book's explanations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A remarkable and readable presentation."
--Charles Townes, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics

"This book is unique.EL The clearest expositions I have ever seen."
--George Greenstein, Professor of Astronomy, Amherst College

"An immensely important and exciting book."
--Raymond Chester Russ, editor of Journal of Mind and Behavior

"Exposes the hidden skeleton in the physicist's closet."
--Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199792955
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Sales rank: 102,247
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Bruce Rosenblum is Professor of Physics and former Chairperson of the Physics Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Fred Kuttner is a former industrial physicist and now devotes most of his time to teaching and researching physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Table of Contents

1 Presenting the enigma 3
2 Einstein called it "spooky" - and I wish I had known 9
3 The visit to Neg Ahne Poc : a quantum parable 15
4 Our Newtonian worldview : a universal law of motion 23
5 All the rest of classical physics 39
Hellow quantum mechanics 51
6 How the quantum was forced on physics 53
7 Schrodinger's equation : the new universal law of motion 69
8 One-third of our economy 81
9 Our skeleton in the closet 87
10 Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen 99
11 Schrodinger's controversial cat 115
12 Seeking a real world : EPR 125
13 Spooky interactions : Bell's theorem 139
14 What's going on? : interpreting the quantum enigma 153
15 The mystery of consciousness 167
16 The mystery meets the enigma 179
17 Consciousness and the quantum cosmos 193
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    This Book is very interesting.

    In this book Rosenblum and Kuttner explain the Quantum Engima as simply as possible. They have done a fantastic job in explaining concepts and theories without crossing ethical barriers. Many theories in Quantum mechanics are confusing and they cause you to think about the theory in more than one way. This can be difficult to explain and to keep simple but in this book they can look at something in several different ways and still get the point across. They also give you a story along with some of the more confusing topics so that you can see possible outcomes and questions that come from the topic. They also explain how quantum mechanics can relate to space and planets. They do a great job of relating everything together and explaining how different things affect other things. For example when they describe probability and wavieness they tell you as simply as possible that the object has a chance to be in several places at once, but once it is observed, then the probability of that object being in a different place instantly goes to zero. Overall this book has helped me understand some difficult theories and concepts. Also taking the approach of looking at something in more than one way helps you see the possible outcomes. This book is great if you love physics and if you are interested in learning about how historical physics has influinced today's physics. It is amazing to see how simply they can relate the two and it is interesting to see some of the quotes from past scientists and from new scientists.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Book I've been waiting for...

    This is a great book for those of us who feel that quantum mechanics has undoubtably shown that conciousness cannot be denied as an ingredient in science. Many scientists do not want to admit that enigma. These authors do, and do it well.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Easy to Understand

    I have read a few books on the subject, but this one was the best. If you are interested in getting a quantum education, buy this book. It is excellent.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    Amazing introduction to the mysteries of quantum mechanics!

    I don't know any advanced mathematics. I thought I could never grasp these ideas because of that but these authors proved me wrong.

    This book is filled with easy to understand pictures of how quantum mechanics works. They make clear what is known and unknown about it. They don't get weird.

    Also I am not an atheist. I don't know about the authors beliefs but I was in no way offended by this book. They pretty much keep religion out of it. However the "enigma" itself is very mysterious and will make you ponder reguardless of your worldview.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    not compelling but a few insights

    I know it is an outline of current theory but how many different ways can you say the same thing and still be interesting?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    This book, about some of the most confounding topics currently k

    This book, about some of the most confounding topics currently known, is a pleasure to read. Each sentence is an illustration of exceptional English writing. The authors are experienced and confident enough not to be intimidated by their complex but 'mechanically' workable topic which present human conception seems to have difficulty absorbing. For that alone, it is a national treasure! I stumbled into this work by chance but I rank it among the best books I've read. And to return to 'writing' as a measure of competency, this book stands out as a beacon of clarity and simplicity while maintaining its hold over the reader. Just an excellent example all around. If this book (or its earlier edition) have not won awards, then something is wrong out there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Great Book

    These guys are able to present the non- mathematical, conceptual side of Quantum mechanics because they understand it so well. This will expand your mind, in a good way.. A great story, AND it's true!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Intriguing

    This was purchased as a gift for our son, who is interested and involved in science, and also the philosophical issues. He was excited to receive it, but haven't heard if he has read it yet, or what his opinion of it is after reading. He definitely had a positive reaction. We were told about it by an acquaintance, who had really liked it, as it balanced his interests in faith, philosophy and science.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Balanced

    Easy to read, and walks a fine line of declaring findings and not delving into phililsophy

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    Posted June 27, 2011

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