Quantum Legacy: The Discovery That Changed Our Universe

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Today we all take for granted the many technological marvels that have sprung from quantum physics without ever appreciating the radical paradigm shift that led to these discoveries. The story of the physicists who made the quantum leaps that have so altered our world is a provocative and intriguing one. And there is no better person to describe the history of this quantum revolution in terms that everyone can understand than award-winning physicist and science writer Barry Parker.

Parker introduces us to all the major players in this history, offering interesting biographical details that shed light on their important discoveries: Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schroedinger, Paul Dirac, Richard Feynman, and Julian Schwinger. Parker also discusses Einstein's objections to quantum theory ("God does not play dice with the universe."), philosophical implications and "quantum weirdness," as well as the seemingly miraculous practical applications of quantum theory -  in lasers, transistors, integrated circuits, computer technology, nuclear energy, and genetics.

Parker's gift for turning the subtle complexities of subatomic physics into clearly understandable terms while conveying the excitement and wide-ranging importance of quantum exploration make him the ideal guide to a field that continues to transform our world and ultimately our universe.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Popular science writer (and former physics professor) Parker presents a portrait of the scientists who developed the theory of quantum mechanics and explains the basic conceptual outlines of the theory. The mathematics of quantum theory are almost completely avoided. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573929936
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,503,707
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Parker (Pocatello, ID) is an award-winning science writer and the author of twenty-seven highly acclaimed popular science books, including The Physics of War: From Arrows to AtomsAlbert Einstein's Vision: Remarkable Discoveries That Shaped Modern ScienceEinstein: The Passions of a ScientistEinstein's Brainchild: Relativity Made Relatively Easy!;Quantum Legacy: The Discovery That Changed Our Universe and Science 101: Physics. He is professor emeritus of physics at Idaho State University.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11
1 Introduction 13
2 Early Ideas 21
3 The Lucky Guess 39
4 The Bohr Atom 51
5 Heisenberg's Arrays 69
6 Schrodinger's Wave Equation 85
7 What did it All Mean? 101
8 Uncertainty 115
9 Einstein's Objections and Quantum Weirdness 129
10 Extending the Theory 143
11 Modern Developments: Lasers and Masers 159
12 Transistors and Superconductors 179
13 The Nuclear Age 203
14 The Computer Revolution 225
Epilogue 249
Notes 253
Glossary 261
Bibliography 269
Index 275
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