One of Forbes's 2018 Best Books About Astronomy, Physics and Mathematics
One of Kirkus's Best Books of 2018 The intellectual adventure story of the "double-slit" experiment, showing how a sunbeam split into two paths first challenged our understanding of light and then the nature of reality itself--and continues to almost 200 years later. Many of science's greatest minds have grappled with the simple yet elusive "double-slit" experiment. Thomas Young devised it in the early 1800s to show that light behaves like a wave, and in doing so opposed Isaac Newton. Nearly a century later, Albert Einstein showed that light comes in quanta, or particles, and the experiment became key to a fierce debate between Einstein and Niels Bohr over the nature of reality. Richard Feynman held that the double slit embodies the central mystery of the quantum world. Decade after decade, hypothesis after hypothesis, scientists have returned to this ingenious experiment to help them answer deeper and deeper questions about the fabric of the universe. How can a single particle behave both like a particle and a wave? Does a particle exist before we look at it, or does the very act of looking create reality? Are there hidden aspects to reality missing from the orthodox view of quantum physics? Is there a place where the quantum world ends and the familiar classical world of our daily lives begins, and if so, can we find it? And if there's no such place, then does the universe split into two each time a particle goes through the double slit? With his extraordinarily gifted eloquence, Anil Ananthaswamy travels around the world and through history, down to the smallest scales of physical reality we have yet fathomed. Through Two Doors at Once is the most fantastic voyage you can take.
What is everything really made of? If we split matter down into smaller and infinitesimally smaller pieces, where do we arrive? At the Particle Zoo - the extraordinary subatomic world of antimatter, ghostly neutrinos, strange-flavoured quarks and time-travelling electrons, gravitons and glueballs, mindboggling eleven-dimensional strings and the elusive Higgs boson itself.
Be guided around this strangest of zoos by Gavin Hesketh, experimental particle physicist at humanity's greatest experiment, the Large Hadron Collider. Concisely and with a rare clarity, he demystifies how we are uncovering the inner workings of the universe and heading towards the next scientific revolution.
Why are atoms so small? How did the Higgs boson save the universe? And is there a Theory of Everything? The Particle Zoo answers these and many other profound questions, and explains the big ideas of Quantum Physics, String Theory, The Big Bang and Dark Matter... and, ultimately, what we know about the true, fundamental nature of reality.
In this eagerly anticipated sequel to the classic bestseller In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, John Gribbin digs even deeper into the mysterious and confounding world of quantum mechanics. Gribbin takes infinitely complex, mind-bending experiments, brings them to life, and makes them accessible to the lay reader. Under his deft guidance, we can begin to grasp the fundamental riddle of today's quantum mechanics: how a single photon can be seen going in two directions at once. Along the way, Gribbin reveals some fascinating discoveries: how quantum particles could one day be used in a Star Trek-type teleportation system, and how quantum cryptographers have developed ways of making unbreakable codes using quantum effects. Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality illuminates the world's most intriguing and enigmatic scientific phenomenon - and shows how the "impossible dreams" of such legendary scientists as Bohr, Feynman, and Einstein may soon become reality.
Roger Penrose's views on the large-scale physics of the Universe, the small-scale world of quantum physics and the physics of the mind are controversial and widely discussed. This book is a fascinating and accessible summary of Roger Penrose's current thinking on those areas of physics in which he feels there are major unresolved problems. It is also a stimulating introduction to the radically new concepts that he believes will be fruitful in understanding the workings of the brain and the nature of the human mind.
This clearly explained layman's introduction to quantum physics is an accessible excursion into metaphysics and the meaning of reality.Herbert exposes the quantum world and the scientific and philosophical controversy about its interpretation."
Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united in a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? On this issue, two of the world's most famous physicists--Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind)--disagree. Here they explain their positions in a work based on six lectures with a final debate, all originally presented at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
How could quantum gravity, a theory that could explain the earlier moments of the big bang and the physics of the enigmatic objects known as black holes, be constructed? Why does our patch of the universe look just as Einstein predicted, with no hint of quantum effects in sight? What strange quantum processes can cause black holes to evaporate, and what happens to all the information that they swallow? Why does time go forward, not backward?
In this book, the two opponents touch on all these questions. Penrose, like Einstein, refuses to believe that quantum mechanics is a final theory. Hawking thinks otherwise, and argues that general relativity simply cannot account for how the universe began. Only a quantum theory of gravity, coupled with the no-boundary hypothesis, can ever hope to explain adequately what little we can observe about our universe. Penrose, playing the realist to Hawking's positivist, thinks that the universe is unbounded and will expand forever. The universe can be understood, he argues, in terms of the geometry of light cones, the compression and distortion of spacetime, and by the use of twistor theory. With the final debate, the reader will come to realize how much Hawking and Penrose diverge in their opinions of the ultimate quest to combine quantum mechanics and relativity, and how differently they have tried to comprehend the incomprehensible.
The Stone Age, the Iron Age, and the steam and electrical ages all saw the reach of humankind transformed by new technology. Now we are living in the Quantum Age, a revolution in everyday life led by our understanding of the very, very small.
Quantum physics account for 30 percent of American GDP and are at the heart of every electronic device; every smartphone and laser we use.
Acclaimed popular science author Brian Clegg brings his trademark clarity and enthusiasm to a book that will give the world around you a new sense of wonder.
Reveals recent developments in quantum theory and explains the fundamental riddle of quantum mechanics--why a single photon can be seen going in two directions at once
Ken Ford's mission is to help us understand the "great ideas" of quantum physics--ideas such as wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, superposition, and conservation. These fundamental concepts provide the structure for 101 Quantum Questions, an authoritative yet engaging book for the general reader in which every question and answer brings out one or more basic features of the mysterious world of the quantum--the physics of the very small.
Nuclear researcher and master teacher, Ford covers everything from quarks, quantum jumps, and what causes stars to shine, to practical applications ranging from lasers and superconductors to light-emitting diodes. Ford's lively answers are enriched by Paul Hewitt's drawings, numerous photos of physicists, and anecdotes, many from Ford's own experience. Organized for cover-to-cover reading, 101 Quantum Questions also is great for browsing.
Some books focus on a single subject such as the standard model of particles, or string theory, or fusion energy. This book touches all those topics and more, showing us that disparate natural phenomena, as well as a host of manmade inventions, can be understood in terms of a few key ideas. Yet Ford does not give us simplistic explanations. He assumes a serious reader wanting to gain real understanding of the essentials of quantum physics.
Ken Ford's other books include The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone (Harvard 2004), which Esquire magazine recommended as the best way to gain an understanding of quantum physics. Ford's new book, a sequel to the earlier one, makes the quantum world even more accessible.