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The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments…

The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments (2011)

by Jim Baggott

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This could be a lot shorter, should be in exact chronological order and needs a glossary ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
I loved the earlier chapters and would have helped when I was studying QM as an undergrad. The later chapters got a bit tedious and bogged down with sub atomic particles. Dammit, seen on boson, seen em all.

Don't worry, no math involved. ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
This could be a lot shorter, should be in exact chronological order and needs a glossary ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Quantum theory is a tricky subject to understand. Baggott does a good job of attempting to explain it, but it is always going to be difficult to judge at what level to pitch the book. There were some chapters where I felt like I was approaching understanding, but there were others where I was utterly confused. At one point Baggott states “It is now clear where this is leading”, which I found rather ironic since I hadn’t followed any of the previous discussion. It may have been easier if I had a better grounding in maths and physics as the formulae can get complex. Baggott does explain terms, but he then assumes more familiarity with them than might be realistic - particularly if the reader is hearing about them for the first time - when he refers to them at later stages. This is especially true of the rainbow of particles described, such as the pion and the quark, and properties such as spin and colour. It can be a little tricky to keep track of everything. It is not a book to be rushed through if a deep understanding is required. Baggott does include anecdotes, some of which are interesting and informative, whereas some seemed a bit irrelevant. However, whether irrelevant or informative, they offer a break from the solid science, which is good for the novice like me. My conclusion is that I’ll leave quantum theory alone for now. ( )
  Tselja | Feb 23, 2012 |
An excellent and lucid delve into the quantum and atomic world for non-physicists. ( )
  travelster | Oct 26, 2011 |
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The last century was defined by physics.

At the beginning of the twentieth century there were plenty of reasons for believing that the great journey that was physics was close to reaching its final destination.

Max Planck had once been counselled against a career in theoretical physics.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199566844, Hardcover)

Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we now take for granted. But at the same time it has completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at its most fundamental level. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it.

The Quantum Story begins in 1900, tracing a century of game-changing science. Popular science writer Jim Baggott first shows how, over the space of three decades, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and others formulated and refined the theory--and opened the floodgates. Indeed, since then, a torrent of ideas has flowed from the world's leading physicists, as they explore and apply the theory's bizarre implications. To take us from the story's beginning to the present day, Baggott organizes his narrative around forty turning-point moments of discovery. Many of these are inextricably bound up with the characters involved--their rivalries and their collaborations, their arguments and, not least, their excitement as they sense that they are redefining what reality means. Through the mix of story and science, we experience their breathtaking leaps of theory and experiment, as they uncover such undreamed of and mind-boggling phenomenon as black holes, multiple universes, quantum entanglement, the Higgs boson, and much more.

Brisk, clear, and compelling, The Quantum Story is science writing at its best. A compelling look at the one-hundred-year history of quantum theory, it illuminates the idea as it reveals how generations of physicists have grappled with this monster ever since.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:08 -0400)

Jim Baggott tells the story of quantum theory through 40 key moments in its history, from the hints of trouble in 1900 to the hunt for the Higgs particle at CERN today.

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