Quantum Profiles

Quantum Profiles

by Jeremy Bernstein
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

For the prominent science writer Jeremy Bernstein, the profile is the most congenial way of communicating science. Here, in what he labels a "series of conversations carried on in the reader's behalf and my own," he evokes the tremendous intellectual excitement of the world of modern physics, especially the quantum revolution. Drawing on his well-known talent for

Overview

For the prominent science writer Jeremy Bernstein, the profile is the most congenial way of communicating science. Here, in what he labels a "series of conversations carried on in the reader's behalf and my own," he evokes the tremendous intellectual excitement of the world of modern physics, especially the quantum revolution. Drawing on his well-known talent for explaining the most complex scientific ideas for the layperson, Bernstein gives us a lively sense of what the issues of quantum mechanics are and of various ways in which individual physicists approached them.

The author begins this series of interconnected profiles by describing the life and work of John Stewart Bell, the brilliant physicist employed at the gigantic elementary particle laboratory near Geneva (CERN), whose "Bell's Inequality" inspired a generation of researchers to confront, by experiment, just how peculiar and counterintuitional quantum mechanics really is. Bernstein then discusses the career of the prodigiously active and creative John Archibald Wheeler, who worked in the beginning stages of almost every branch of contemporary physics and invented the terms "black hole," "ergo-sphere," "geon," "Planck length," and "stellarator." The book closes with a moving commentary on the correspondence, of fifty-two years duration, between Einstein and the gentle, talented, but little-known Swiss engineer Michele Angelo Besso. "Of all the Einstein letters I have read these are surely the most striking, on a purely human level," writes Bernstein of the Einstein-Besso correspondence. "Einstein was not given to close friendships--'the merely personal,' as he once put it--but these letters are filled with 'the merely personal,' even though the deep issues of physics and its philosophy are never very far away."

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Popular science writer Bernstein explains quantum physics to the general reader, based on his extensive conversations with physicists John Stewart Bell and John Archibald Wheeler, and on Einstein's correspondence with Swiss engineer Michele Angelo Basso. Very brief bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"Fascinating to read ... provides a valuable addition to an important debate about our understanding of the universe at its most fundamental level."--The New York Review of Books

"A collection of three warm, colorful and insightful profiles of physicists who have contributed to the study of quantum mechanics."--The Washington Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400820542
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/01/1990
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,088,006
File size:
394 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >