"Quantum" tells the history of quantum physics from Planck in 1900 through Aspect's experiments on Bell's Theorem in the 1980s. The story is told through the eyes of quantum physicists in their letters and conversations. Key journal articles are accurately and clearly summarized (with only brief mentions of short key equations). The content is very similar to that of "The Age of Entanglement." This one is clearer, but I read both and I'd recommend doing so if you really want to understand quantum physics and its foundations.
If you want to learn quantum physics, this is not a beginner's book. I suggest a course or self-study before tackling the level of discussion of quantum physics in this book. But, if you just want to get a general understanding of the history and people of the field, then this book should be very interesting to you.
This author, Kumar, really knows his quantum physics. I thought that he must be a physicist, but a brief Google search suggests that he's primarily a science writer. Kumar has the most thorough understanding of quantum physics with the accompanying ability to explain what he knows that I've run across. (And I've read books by Brian Greene.)
This book is superb in both content and presentation. It's really the best book on quantum physics of the eight or so that I've read.
It's a special talent who can make quantum physics both understandable AND weave a kind of scientific sleuthing in such an enjoyable and captivating history. Bravo!
This was an interesting and inclusive look at the theories of quantum mechanics and the history of the people who discovered them. I highly recommend to any one seriously interested in the history of quantum mechanics. I listened to the whole thing in 2 1/2 days. I couldn't stop listening.
The audiobook presents a good overall history of quantum mechanics from the origins up through entanglement. The focus is on the people and secondarily on the theory. There is little to no math discussed, or alternative interpretations. It doesn't waste time though, keeping things moving at a brisk pace. Quantum Story though offers a more comprehensive history with more particle physics in its story (weak force, quarks, strong force, standard model) if that's your goal.
This is a very well-written account of the development of quantum theory and, to some extent, the theory of relativity. Getting a full grasp of what the author conveys, however, often requires reference to figures that are, I hope, included in the print version.
If you primarily listen to audiobooks while driving or doing similar tasks, my advice is to skip this audiobook, and instead read the print version.
The only general area thatI wished the author would have converted was an overview of why a quantum interpretation of the universe is important. What would not have come about had quantum theory not been developed? What do scientists now expect to develop from it?
"Quantum" will have a lengthy residence in our 8Gb player. It is worth several listens. Narration is well paced and even-toned. Much of the story is brief biographical or personality sketches of the twenty or so personalities involved in developing quantum physics. These details provide a framework against which to pin the scientific details of the story.
Without need of deep mathematical or physical knowledge, the book covers the emergence of quantum physics in the 1920's, and what was so revolutionary about it. In a way that classical physics, even the relativity physics of Einstein, did not envision, the world according to quantum does not exist except in the presence of the observer.
It was great to hear of the lives, discoveries, and disputes of the men who founded the field of quantum physics. Einstein and Bohr play major roles in the story, but many other scientists and mathematicians are introduced along with their discoveries.
Yes. Though, I did take breaks to research the different theories and discoveries as I listened.
Magic tricks revealed
Taking discoveries out of the context of the current events of their day and ignoring those men whose shoulders lifted the individual discoverer high enough to get a good glimpse of an undiscovered truth, makes that individual seems magical. Some of the mystique of their individual contributions in light of that context provided within this book, becomes more understandable and we see that, although no less brilliant, they appear to be a little more human. Time and again, we are permitted to observe throughout this book how frequently the implications of their own contributions and discoveries are used by others to leap frog a little bit further. Einstein and Bohr are the main contenders who, like poles of a magnet pull other physicists one way or the other. This book focuses on the men in a time that Quantum Mechanics was just an infant; arguably, one that grew too heavy for its father to bear. This story is stranger than fiction. Unlike that old adage however, I still don't know if the focus subject is truth, but it does work as well or better than Ptolemy's strange orbits to predict what we observe. Now you know that I am not a physicist. I am just a mathematician with an interest in science.
Very good presentation that did not tire me. The fact that I enjoyed the presentation and do not ever remember thinking about poor narration means that he did not interfere with the story. I think that he had a pleasant, unaffected accent for me as an American listener, and he presented the material with enthusiasm.
The material was interesting throughout. The incident where Heisenberg personally requested that Hitler allow some Jews to stay in German universities since they were making significant contributions to science and were a great value to Germany was a standout. Hitler's response caused me a visceral reaction.
Part of science is knowing where to go for further information. Several papers are available to review on the internet. I stopped a few times to do some ciphering on my own. The book is inspiring. It will help me as I continue to pursue further developments as a layman, interested in physics and cosmology.
This books was delightful! I was familiar with the main characters of this story and read books written by them as well as biographical materials.
This is not a novel and this question is irrelevant.
I would like to read more from the authors.
I wasn't sure what exactly what I was in for but the book provides an excellent history of the emergence of modern physics. I'm an engineer with general physics knowledge and this puts much into perspective.