The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments

The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments

4.0 2
by Jim Baggott
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0199566844

ISBN-13: 9780199566846

Pub. Date: 04/15/2011

Publisher: Oxford University Press


The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a

Overview


The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a century in which physicists developed weapons with the capacity to destroy our reality, whilst at the same time denying us the possibility that we can ever properly comprehend it.

Almost everything we think we know about the nature of our world comes from one theory of physics. This theory was discovered and refined in the first thirty years of the twentieth century and went on to become quite simply the most successful theory of physics ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we have learned to take for granted. But its success has come at a price, for it has at the same time completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at the level of its most fundamental constituents.

Rejecting the fundamental elements of uncertainty and chance implied by quantum theory, Albert Einstein once famously declared that 'God does not play dice'. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it.

This is quantum theory, and this book tells its story.

Jim Baggott presents a celebration of this wonderful yet wholly disconcerting theory, with a history told in forty episodes -- significant moments of truth or turning points in the theory's development. From its birth in the porcelain furnaces used to study black body radiation in 1900, to the promise of stimulating new quantum phenomena to be revealed by CERN's Large Hadron Collider over a hundred years later, this is the extraordinary story of the quantum world.

Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199566846
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/15/2011
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Part I: Quantum in Action
1. An Act of Desperation: Berlin 1900
2. Independent Energy Quanta: Bern 1905
3. Quantum Numbers and Quantum Jumps: Manchester 1913
4. Wave-particle Duality: Paris 1923
5. Strangely Beautiful Interior: Helgoland 1925
6. A Late Erotic Outburst: Swiss Alps 1925
7. The Self-rotating Electron: Leiden 1925
Part II: Quantum Probability and Quantum Uncertainty
8. Quantum Probability: Gottingen 1926
9. The Whole Idea of Quantum Jumps Necessarily Leads to Nonsense: Copenhagen 1926
10. Uncertainty Principle: Copenhagen 1927
11. The Copenhagen Interpretation: Copenhagen 1927
12. Complementarity: Lake Como 1927
Part III: Quantum Interpretation
13. Gedankenexperiment: Brussels 1927
14. An Absolute Wonder: Cambridge 1927
15. A Certain Unreasonableness: Brussels 1930
16. A Bolt from the Blue: Copenhagen 1935
17. The Paradox of Schrodinger's Cat: Oxford 1935
Part IV: Quantum Fields
18. Crisis: Shelter Island 1947
19. Quantum Electrodynamics: Oldstone 1949
20. Gauge Symmetry and Gauge Theories: Princeton 1954
21. Three Quarks for Muster Mark: Pasadena 1963
22. The Higgs Mechanism: Edinburgh 1965
Part V: Quantum Particles
23. Electro-weak Unification: Harvard 1967
24. Deep Inelastic Scattering: Stanford Linear Accelerator Center 1967
25. Asymptotic Freedom and Quantum Chromodynamics: Harvard 1973
26. The November Revolution: Brookhaven and SLAC 1974
27. The W and Z Bosons: CERN 1983
28. Completing the Picture: Fermilab 1994
Part VI: Quantum Reality
29. Hidden Variables: Princeton 1951
30. Bell's Theorem: Geneva 1964
31. The Aspect Experiments: Paris 1982
32. Beating the Uncertainty Principle: Albuquerque 1991
33. Three-photon GHZ States: Vienna 2000
34. Reality, Whether Local or Not: Vienna 2007
Part VII: Quantum Gravity
35. That Damned Equation: Princeton 1967
36. The First Superstring Revolution: Aspen 1984
37. The Quantum Structure of Space: Santa Barbara 1986
38. No Consistency Without Contingency: Durham 1995
39. The Second Superstring Revolution: Los Angeles 1995
40. Resolving the Impasse: CERN 2008
Epilogue
Quantum Timeline
Name Index
Subject Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The lecture is captivating. One needs some basic scientific background to read it, but otherwise the lecture appeals to a large audience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago