Fundamental: How Quantum and Particle Physics Explain Absolutely Everything

Fundamental: How Quantum and Particle Physics Explain Absolutely Everything

by Tim James


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A brilliantly diverting and mind-expanding guide to quantum and particle physics.

At the start of the twentieth century, our knowledge of science appeared complete and it seemed that the laws of nature were almost all discovered, but then we woke a sleeping giant—we discovered quantum mechanics.

In the quantum realm, objects can be in two places at once. It’s a place where time travel is not only possible, but necessary. It’s a place where cause and effect can happen in reverse and observing something changes its state. From parallel universes to antimatter, quantum mechanics has revealed that when you get right down to it, the laws of nature are insane. The scientist J. B. S. Haldane once said, “Reality is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.”

Never is this more true than with quantum mechanics. This comprehensive beginner’s guide to quantum mechanics explains not only the weirdness of the subject but the experiments that proved it to be true. Using a humorous and light-hearted approach, Fundamental tells the story of how the most brilliant minds in science grappled with seemingly impossible ideas and gave us everything from microchips to particle accelerators.

Fundamental gives clear explanations of all the quantum phenomena known to modern science, without requiring an understanding of complex mathematics; it tells the eccentric stories of the scientists who made these shattering discoveries and what they used them for; it explains how quantum field theory (a topic not covered in detail by any other popular-science book) gave rise to particle physics and why the Higgs boson isn’t the end of the story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643134703
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 07/07/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 365,392
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tim James is a secondary-school science teacher, YouTuber, blogger, and Instagrammer. Raised by missionaries in Nigeria, he fell in love with science at the age of fifteen and refuses to get over his infatuation. After graduating with a Master’s degree in chemistry, specializing in computational quantum mechanics, he decided to get straight into the classroom. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Introduction The End 1

Chapter 1 Glowing with Pride 5

Chapter 2 Bits and Pieces 17

Chapter 3 Aristocrats, Bombs and Pollen 29

Chapter 4 Taming the Beast 41

Chapter 5 Things Get Even Weirder … Again 55

Chapter 6 The Box and the Pussycat 65

Chapter 7 The World is an Illusion 73

Chapter 8 Quantum Must Die 81

Chapter 9 Teleportation, Time Machines and Twirling 93

Chapter 10 Quantum Mechanics Proves I am Batman 105

Chapter 11 Far Afield 117

Chapter 12 Lines and Wiggles 127

Chapter 13 Particle Physics Gets Jacked 143

Chapter 14 Honey, Where's My Higgs? 157

Chapter 15 The Trouble with G 175

Timeline of Quantum and Particle Physics 185

Appendix I A Closer Look at Spin 191

Appendix II Solving Schrödinger 195

Appendix III Einstein's Bicyle 199

Appendix IV Taming Infinity 203

Appendix V Paint with All the Colours of the Quark 207

Acknowledgements 211

Notes 215

Index 223

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