ISBN-10:
0393339882
ISBN-13:
9780393339888
Pub. Date:
05/09/2011
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

by Manjit Kumar

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393339888
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/09/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 201,082
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Manjit Kumar has degrees in physics and philosophy and has written for Slate, The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, and New Scientist. He lives in London.

Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Part I The Quantum 1

Chapter 1 The Reluctant Revolutionary 3

Chapter 2 The Patent Slave 31

Chapter 3 The Golden Dane 67

Chapter 4 The Quantum Atom 93

Chapter 5 When Einstein Met Bohr 117

Chapter 6 The Prince of Duality 143

Part II Boy Physics 155

Chapter 7 Spin Doctors 157

Chapter 8 The Quantum Magician 177

Chapter 9 'A Late Erotic Outburst' 201

Chapter 10 Uncertainty in Copenhagen 225

Part III Titans Clash Over Reality 251

Chapter 11 Sorvay 1927 253

Chapter 12 Einstein Forgets Relativity 281

Chapter 13 Quantum Reality 301

Part IV Does God Play Dice? 329

Chapter 14 For Whom Bell's Theorem Tolls 331

Chapter 15 The Quantum Demon 351

Timeline 361

Glossary 373

Notes 387

Bibliography 421

Acknowledgements 439

Index 441

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Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
aMessenger More than 1 year ago
I purchased 'Quantum' for my nook in hopes that it would be a sufficient description of what generally is taken to be a dense subject. I was pleasantly surprised by the pressing tone in which Kumar presents all of the majors players, and so quickly too! From the initial pages, the reader should be able to sense the tension that overshadowed the discovery, and evolution, of the quantum, and what it brought to that historic period. The book requires only general knowledge of mathematics/science, but the author superbly offers all readers the background necessary to understand each discovery to an appropriate extent. There is no section which offers a lull in urgency, whether it be the first theories offered by Bohr, or Einstein's repeated attempts to confound the Copenhagen interpretation. Overall, recommended for science readers, either familiar with quantum history or desiring to understand its roots. -Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
DavidWineberg on LibraryThing 2 days ago
There are a number of very striking themes and trends in Quantum that other reviewers have not brought out, being dazzled, no doubt, by the swift pacing, tantalizing prose and cliffhanger hooks that Kumar employs so magnificently in Quantum.First, as someone who has struggled to understand quantum mechanics when it is presented in textbooks as a whole system, I was delighted to find that physicists have the same problem. Even (if not especially) Albert Einstein. By taking us through the history of it, and enjoying the exhilaration of every incremental discovery, theory and step, I find I am really comfortable reading about it, and have no difficulty assimilating it. When you're along for the ride instead of the textbook, it makes a gigantic difference. Bravo, Kumar.Second, it became painfully obvious that physics is far more philosophy than science. I felt like the arguments came from my Logic 101 class. Socrates would have enjoyed crossing swords with Bohr. The arguments of the scientists were really basic, philosophical differences of opinion, not the least bit esoteric or idiosyncratic. It seems that medicine is not the only "science" where they tell you to get a second opinion. That was a revelation, and it made physics all that more human.Third, Quantum confirms a lifelong suspicion that this was and is a young man's game. It seems that every time things started to get stale, some precocious 26 year old student would come along with a new portion of a theory, and rock the establishment. And then live off that discovery for the rest of his life - winning the Nobel Prize (as almost every one of them eventually did), getting professorships - but never shaking the tree again. In music we would call them one hit wonders. Einstein was about the only one with two hits - brainstorms in 1905 and 1916 - but then, even he couldn't fathom the totality of quantum physics and never made another major contribution to its progress. By the age of 50 he was calling himself an "old fool".So in addition to all the praise heaped on Quantum for its superior exposition, I think it's a wonderful addition to the discussion of the human condition. Valuable on a number of levels.What a great book.
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