- Tapa dura: 272 páginas
- Editor: Allen Lane (29 de octubre de 2011)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1846144329
- ISBN-13: 978-1846144325
- Valoración media de los clientes: 5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Ver todas las opiniones (1 opinión de cliente)
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº133.665 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen (Inglés) Tapa dura – 29 oct 2011
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|Tapa dura, 29 oct 2011||
Descripción del producto
A scientific match made in heaven...as breezily a written accessible account of the theory of quantum mechanics as you could wish for - from the Planck constant to the Higgs particle and everything theoretically in between (Observer )
Mindblowing ... what is novel about this attempt is that the writers take an intellectual rather than a historical approach ... it is a surprisingly rich idea that allows the authors to avoid using too much mathematics (Christopher Potter Sunday Times )
[Cox and Forshaw] stand together at the cutting edge of their discipline ... despite their elevated status, both men remain tiggerishly excitable about their subject ... Cox and Forshaw's book is a carefully guided tour through this quantum world ... popularize[s] without dumbing down (Christopher Cook Financial Times )
A thrilling voyage into the subatomic world (The Economist Books of the Year )
With brightness and gusto, the opening chapters deal with the culture shock that thinking about the sub-atomic world entails ...They are good at drawing connections between seemingly esoteric theory and everyday practicalities (Doug Johnstone Independent on Sunday )
The rock star of science... In Quantum Universe they do a great job of bringing a difficult subject to life (Hannah Devlin The Times )
Breaks the rules of popular science writing...admirably shies away from dumbing down...the authors' love for their subject-matter shines through the book (The Economist )
Admirably, Cox and Forshaw...treat topics that do not usually show up in popular books...readers will enjoy this engaging, ambitious and creative tour of our quantum universe (David Kaiser The Guardian )
By explaining theories about the world, Cox and Forshaw show that the workings of the universe can be understood by us all (Fanny Blake Woman & Home )
Reseña del editor
The Quantum Universe brings together two authors on a brilliantly ambitious mission to show that everyone can understand the deepest questions of science.
But just what is quantum physics? How does it help us understand the world? Where does it leave Newton and Einstein? And why, above all, can we be sure that the theory is good?
The bizarre behaviour of the atoms and energy that make up the universe has led to some very woolly pronouncements on the nature of all interconnectedness. Here, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw give us the real science, and reveal the profound theories that allow for concrete, yet astonishing, predictions about the world.
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"The Quantum Universe" is the interesting book about the subatomic realm. Well known physicist and science celebrity Brian Cox along with fellow physicist Jeff Forshaw take us into the intimidating world of quantum mechanics. Using the latest in scientific understanding and creative analogies these scientists make complex topics accessible to the masses. This 272-page book is composed of the following eleven chapters: 1. Something Strange Is Afoot, 2. Being in Two Places at Once, 3. What Is a Particle? 4. Everything That Can Happen Does Happen, 5. Movement as an Illusion, 6. The Music of the Atoms, 7. The Universe in a Pin-head (and Why We Don't Fall Through the Floor), 8. Interconnected, 9. The Modern World, 10. Interaction, and 11. Empty Space Isn't Empty.
1. The ability of great scientists to communicate to the masses.
2. Fascinating topic in the hands of experts. Well researched and well written.
3. Finally, a book about quantum mechanics that I can comprehend and in the process I didn't perceive it was "dumbed" down either. Most importantly, it kept my interest and I learned while doing so. Bravo!
4. Great use of charts and illustrations to assist the reader. Many concepts of physics defy common logic so the choice of sound illustrations is a must in order to understand the concepts. As an example, the use of clocks to understand particles.
5. Grounding what we know based on the best knowledge that science can offer. The authors do a wonderful job of explaining the scientific process and defining what a good scientific theory is all about.
6. This is strictly a science book. The authors are focused on quantum mechanics, not on the supernatural or making fun of those who do. In fact, the term "God" or "Creator" was never articulated! In other words, these authors don't take unnecessary cheap shots and they handle this topic with the utmost respect and care.
7. Effective use of math, math is vital in understanding physics but the authors know their target audience well and provide the math necessary to enhance the level of comprehension. The authors don't make the mistake of other books that bombard readers with esoteric equations and don't follow up with a comprehensive narration.
8. Great explanation of why the laws of quantum theory replace Newton's laws.
9. The authors seamlessly capture discoveries and their discoverers throughout the book.
10. The unique characteristics of the electron, and I mean unique.
11. I'm in awe of science! It's truly amazing how a basic understanding of quantum theory can lead one to understand the observed properties of some of the most massive objects in the universe.
12. The great Richard Feynman and his contributions to quantum mechanics...the understanding of subatomic particles. "Feynman is a second Dirac, only this time human". A giant of the subatomic world.
13. Understanding that being counterintuitive (moving away from common experience) is common in quantum mechanics. In other words, embrace your weirdness.
14. Fascinating tidbits throughout such as it was often claimed that the youth of the scientists allowed them to free themselves of old ways of thinking and thus be able to understand the world of quantum theory. Of course there are exceptions...Schrodinger.
15. The probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics...the loss of predictive power, even Einstein was bothered with it.
16. The least action principle...a cornerstone of physics.
17. The Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle...it's amazing how being annoyed by the attention that Schrodinger received would drive a great scientist to his own version of quantum theory. We are talking about great scientists, not reality-TV stars. Goes to show that even scientists are humans too.
18. The brief history of Planck's constant. He was able to explain the black body spectrum...the rest is well, history.
19. The fascinating result of how to describe a moving particle. The de Broglie equation and how it works and wave packets.
20. The vastness inside an atom and what exactly is going on inside there. If you like guitars or drums this section is for you. The term quantized is music to my ears.
21. The work of physicist Wolfgang Pauli and why we don't fall through the floor. The Pauli Exclusion Principle. Great stuff.
22. The book does touch up on cosmology and you know that is always fun.
23. The periodic table an interesting narrative.
24. Atomic clusters...chemical bonding, semiconductors.
25. An appreciation for one of the most important inventions ever, the transistor. Thank you quantum theory.
26. Profound thoughts and concepts: "Every electron in the Universe knows about the state of every other electron". And that goes for protons and neutrons too.
27. Understanding the utility of semiconductor materials. Who knew physics was so much fun?
28. The nature of interaction between particles. Quantum field theory and its rules.
29. Quantum electrodynamics (QED), the theory that explains how particles interact with each other and photons. Once again thank you Mr. Feynman and Schwinger and company.
30. Anti-matter or an electron travelling backwards in time. Remember, embrace your weirdness. Oh and it does get weird.
31. A survey of The Standard Model of particle physics. Come on Large Hadron Collider (LHC)...
32. A list of all the known particles and if we are lucky with the aforementioned LHC certainly more will be added to the list.
33. How modern physics aim to provide an answer to "what is the origin of mass?" The key...the Higgs boson, come on LHC. Branching rules.
34. An interesting Epilogue on the death of Stars. Fascinating stuff, applied science at its best.
1. Quantum mechanics is complicated there is no ifs and buts about it. Even at the most accessible level some concepts will not be comprehended. Many concepts of physics defy common logic and so some patience is needed to go over some of the topics.
2. Furthermore, this is not the type of book that you can jump from one topic to another without paying a price. Some concepts need to be learned first before you can move on to understand new concepts. The use of clocks (as an analogy) to understand waves is fundamental to understanding the concepts being conveyed. I can't stress that enough. Once you understand how the analogy works you will progress through the book. Patience, focus and some caffeine.
3. Further reading section would have been enhanced with a complete bibliography.
In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The authors made comprehending such complex topics fun which is an accomplishment in its own right. The introductory knowledge that I have obtained by this book helps me gain a better understanding of our world. My love of knowledge is rewarded by great books like The Quantum Universe". We know so little about world but every little bit of knowledge that we do obtain through the endeavors of science just gives me a sense of awe that no other human experience can match. The quest for knowledge is the most fulfilling journey any human can take. Do yourself a favor and don't hesitate to get the "The Quantum Universe".
Further suggestions: "A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing" by Lawrence M. Krauss, "About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang" by Adam Frank, "Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End . . ." by Philip Plait, "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking, and "The Age of Everything: How Science Explores the Past" by Mathew Hedman.
The best layperson's physics books are written in a sort of cook-book style where the final "dishes" are shown with all their wonderful deliciousness, and the ingredients that they are made from are listed, but the details of how all the ingredients interact to make the flavors are omitted because they are beyond the layperson's understanding and interest.
I recently read such a wonderful book by Cox and Forshaw when I GOOGLED on "Why does E=MC2" and was directed to their book of that title Why Does E=mc2?: (And Why Should We Care?). They beautifully explained why E=MC2 isn't just the equivalence of energy to mass, but is an expression of the basic nature of the space/time universe. They answered every question I wanted to know about the subject and a lot more. That book is one of the top two or three popular physics books I've ever read, and I've been reading them since Isaac Asimov and George Gamow began writing them in the 1960s.
Their new book THE QUANTUM UNIVERSE is NOT a layperson's book. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the "comic book" and 10 being a physics textbook, this would come in at an 8. I didn't find the book to be interesting or meaningful. The problem isn't in the writing, which is lucid. It isn't any lack of illustration; a major effort was put into explaining the concepts graphically as diagrams and pictures. The difficulty is the complexity of the subject matter itself. A layperson, even with some college physics and previous reading of Quantum Mechanics under their belt, will need to allocate about a week of intensive study to make a dent in understanding the book.
I would suggest that there are much more informative and enjoyable books on quantum mechanics for the layperson. Cox and Forshaw's own Why Does E=mc2?: (And Why Should We Care?) is one of those even though it touches only indirectly on quantum mechanics. Brian Clegg's How to Build a Time Machine: The Real Science of Time Travel is another excellent book that better explains at a layperson's level of comprehension the relationship between Quantum Mechanics and the visible universe.
Cox and Forshaw have probably made the best presentation at this level of complexity that is possible. However, the complexity is intimidating. If you're a typical layperson you'll want to dedicate a week of study to this book and have a bottle of aspirin handy for the headaches you're going to get from trying to comprehend it. It is heavy in mathematical formulas.
I may come back to this book from time to time when I want to delve deeper into the meaning of Quantum Mechanics, but, unlike Cox and Forshaw's WHY DOES E=MC2, it did not hold my interest during the first reading. I'm going to rate it 3 stars because professional physicists may enjoy it. But I don't think a casual reader of physics books would.
I can't fault the structure, writing, or illustration of the book, but its subject matter IS difficult. Perhaps it will be ideal for a highschool science or physics teacher (or a highschool student intending to make a career in science or physics) who has time and inclination to study the intermediate levels of quantum mechanics.
btw. in response to this review another reviewer commented that Quantum Enigma : Physics Encounters Consciousness may be a more enjoyable encounter with quantum mechanics for a lay reader. I just finished that book and heartily agree.
I thought some parts of this book were excellent and other parts not so good. The explanations of such things as the Quantum Measurement Problem and the Epilogue on the Death of Stars, for example, are in the excellent category. Much less good was the explanation of phase and quantum interference by constant reference to "clocks," which I found clumsy and unhelpful (although others may disagree). This is quite a serious flaw, as it permeates much of the book. However, the style is readable and the treatment of the subject quite rigorous for a "popular" book, so overall I found it an incisive account of the state of Quantum Theory in late 2011
There is a reasonable amount of mathematics in the book, although most is explained in a way that should be comprehensible to those with only a little background in the subject. It is badly hindered, though, by a number of unnecessary errors which really should have been eliminated in proof reading. For example, a footnote on p67 asserts that... "a microgramme...is a millionth of a kilogramme." More seriously, in the otherwise excellent Epilogue in which the authors take us gently and expertly through a rather complex mathematical process, several errors in the text will make the argument almost impossible for anyone with little maths to follow. Examples include "rho" rather than "rho-bar" on p234, and "r-squared" rather than plain "r" on p235 and there are others. It just isn't good enough in a book like this, and I hope this will be corrected in future editions.
Flaws aside, I would recommend this to anyone who isn't afraid to get stuck into a bit of algebra and reasoning and who wants a proper account of where quantum physics stands and what it may mean. It's a generally readable and enjoyable intellectual adventure.
This book deals with some of the most exciting discoveries made in physics through the last century. The subject matter is challenging on many levels. The actual maths are way beyond that of the lay reader. But that doesn't mean that their substance cannot be conveyed to the generalist.
Cox conceived of this book as somewhere between a general text for a reader comfortable with clock metaphors, the associated maths, as well as the general reader who is comfortable with some technical subject matter. I have advanced degrees in fields that use grad level calculus and probability and have taught quantitative analysis on the university level. Yet even with that background I was lost in the unending use of the clock metaphor. It was very poorly defined and executed. I suspect that this book fails for both the generalist and the specialist. Cox is utterly brilliant, clear, and so affable in his videos, but the reader get little of that in this book.
Much of the text makes reference to diagrams. These fail utterly on the Kindle, since the page with the diagram is not indicated with its associated descriptive text. This makes this already difficult and tiresome book, even more difficult to use. I could not refer back to the diagram, which made the text especially opaque. It was really quite frustrating.
If you're comfortable with Feynman's clock metaphors, then I think this book would work for you, but get ithe actual hard copy. Avoid the Kindle version.