The Demon and the Quantum: From the Pythagorean Mystics to Maxwell's Demon and Quantum Mystery / Edition 1

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"Robert Scully, a diesel mechanic, enjoys tormenting scientists with demonic questions. Thereby he has produced a brilliant hiker's guide to the galaxy of atomic physics. He offers fresh insights into quantum theory, especially its profound interplay with information science, delivered with startling clarity and exuberant verve. For hikers eager to trot onward, endnotes by his father Marlan, a distinguished physicist, provide spirited but docile mathematical horses." - Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Laureate, Chemistry, Harvard University

"I've read 'The Demon and the Quantum' with interest. The book is impressive, with much careful history and personal stories of early scientists. The main scientific message is that the marriage of laser physics (i.e., the ammonia beam maser) and quantum mechanics (i.e., the quantum eraser) resolves the Maxwell demon paradox. This is a deep insight worthy of contemplation." - Charles Townes, Nobel Laureate, Physics, Berkeley

"Packed with deep thought, full of fascinating history, "The Demon and the Quantum rips the veil from the deepest mysteries of the universe. Scully exhibits masterful command of his subject, the fundamental role of information in the cosmos." - Seth Lloyd, Author, "Programming the Universe", MIT

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Demon and the Quantum is accessible to a large spectrum of readers of PHYSICS TODAY; it is worthwhile reading…" (Physics Today, November 2008)

"The relation between information and our current understanding of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics is profound, subtle, and complex…" (CHOICE, May 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783527406883
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/17/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Marlan O. Scully holds joint appointments at Texas A&M and Princeton Universities. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. During the course of his life work on the foundations and applications of quantum mechanics, he has come to know many of the pioneers in the field and has collected biographical material on them, which R. Scully has woven into this book.

Robert J. Scully is a heavy equipment diesel mechanic living and working in Irving, Texas, where he is employed by the Caterpillar Corporation. His academic connections include the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas at Dallas. He was a tank diesel mechanic in the marine corps from 1988 to 1993. Robert Scully writes biographies for the National Academy of Sciences, including one on William Hewlett of the Hewlett Packard Corporation and one on quantum physicist Leonard Mandel.

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Table of Contents

1. Mathematics, Mysticism, and more
2. Mass in Motion
3. From Engines to Entropy: Carnot and Clausius develop the Yardstick of Engine Efficiency
4. From Statistical Entropy to Statistical Time: Thermodynamics evolves from being an Engineers' Tool to becoming a Philosophers' Gold Mine
5. Maxwell's Demon leads us to combine Consciousness, Entropy, and Information
6. Quantum Mechanics I: From Micromagnets to Micromasers
7. Using Quantum Mechanics to Resolve the Maxwell Demon Paradox
8. Quantum Mechanics II: The Wave Side of Particles and the Particle Side of Waves
9. From Wigner's Friend to Quantum Erasure: Of Wigner's Friends and their Amnesia
10. On Quantum Mechanics and the Big Questions

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