Quantum

Quantum

Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality

Book - 2009
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Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you weren't shocked by quantum theory, you didn't really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution, focusing on the central conflict between Einstein and Bohr over the nature of reality and the soul of science. This revelatory book takes a close look at the golden age of physics, the brilliant young minds at its core--and how an idea ignited the greatest intellectual debate of the twentieth century.
Publisher: New York ; London : W.W. Norton, 2009.
ISBN: 9780393078299
Characteristics: xvi, 448 p. :,ill., portraits ;,25 cm.

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markallenlearson
Dec 14, 2017

If you have become confused while trying to understand quantum theory this might be the book to read to get a clearer understanding. Kumar follows the history of the debates and discoveries of physics and therefore makes much more sense since it feeds you what you need to know before tackling the next theory. IOW, physics is just like a person maturing, you learn to crawl, then stand upright, walk, then run. You cannot really understand physics by jumping in to quantum mechanics without first understanding what preceded it. After reading this book you can seek out other sources for further explanation, but this book would be an excellent place to start. Another nice thing is that you will know the main cast of characters who have advanced physics to what it is today and can seek out books on those people whose discoveries and theories you want or need more information on, since they are the people responsible for it.

johnf108 Feb 02, 2013

If you liked this book and/or wished for a book not going into details that got you lost ‘in the trees’, ‘The Quantum Adventure : Does God Play Dice?’ by Alex Montwill & Ann Breslin would interest you. It is briefer but in many ways clearer as to what the important events [history] and facts/controversies were.
Unlike some books it does not deal with quarks or string theory---only the movement from ‘classical’ to ‘quantum’ physics.
The book is on the level of Feynman’s ‘QED’ and even has a chapter on the photons, least action and sum over history from ‘QED.’

h
haydenrobinson
Sep 08, 2011

I had only a year's worth of basic college physics, and that was decades ago, but this book knocked my socks off. It's like listening in on the conversations between some of history's greatest minds. Kumar makes both the history and the science accessible and engaging. The physicists come through as real humans, and their curiosity, and the passion with which they engage their work, are contagious.

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