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Quantum Audiobook

Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed

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Publisher's Summary

From Schrodinger's cat to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this book untangles the weirdness of the quantum world.

Quantum mechanics underpins modern science and provides us with a blueprint for reality itself. And yet it has been said that if you're not shocked by it, you don't understand it. But is quantum physics really so unknowable? Is reality really so strange? And just how can cats be half alive and half dead at the same time?

Our journey into the quantum begins with nature's own conjuring trick, in which we discover that atoms - contrary to the rules of everyday experience - can exist in two locations at once. To understand this we travel back to the dawn of the 20th century and witness the birth of quantum theory, which over the next 100 years was to overthrow so many of our deeply held notions about the nature of our universe.

Scientists and philosophers have been left grappling with its implications ever since.

Read by Hugh Kermode.

©2003 Jim Al-Khalili (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (109 )
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4.6 (90 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Philomath 05-17-16
    Philomath 05-17-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The fascinating world of the quantum"

    So many books about quantum physics but no one ever explains it, they only describe the science.

    In a typically captivating Al-Khalili style, even that that cannot be understood is explained easily. "Those who think they understand quantum science, don't understand quantum science" don't ask why, just do the math that works.

    The author explains why quantum science is so accurate yet defies intuition and any type of reason. Most scientists in this field only care that the science works. Why quantum physics works in the way it does is something they usually run away from, and for good reason. It makes no sense and defies logic.

    Great author, great book, highly recommended for those that still don't understand why we don't understand the quantum world.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AJ Rothman 05-01-16
    AJ Rothman 05-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    "So far so good. It's not going to let down."

    Covering the basics and keeping it technical. Do not dive into this thinking you're going to know it all. Though it does start at the beginning if you don't have a grasp on the standard model good luck.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chemprof 06-04-16
    chemprof 06-04-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Nice listen"

    Balance between known and speculative, historical, current and possible future. Still perplexed! Wavefunction covered well. Entanglement done justice. Computing still a complete mystery.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra Hopkins 10-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Best ever intermediate book on quantum physics"

    I have read or listened to about 10 books on quantum physics, and this is the BEST by far.

    It’s both accurate and clear. It includes virtually no math. Achieving accuracy and clarity in this field while avoiding math is quite a feat. The book is suitable for readers who have a good basic knowledge of the concepts of quantum physics. It is probably not for raw beginners. However, mathematical knowledge is not required.

    Among many other aspects of quantum physics, the book elucidates Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the true source of which is often mischaracterized, even in quantum mechanics textbooks.

    This book might also be quite interesting to those who have a good mathematical understanding of quantum physics but may lack thorough understanding of quantum theory. For those who have studied the “shut up and calculate” school of quantum mechanics, this book might be extremely informative.

    Jim Al-Khalili, the author, is an accomplished nuclear physicist who has made important contributions to the field. He's also a superb communicator of difficult scientific concepts. He has created and hosted numerous popular science documentaries.

    The narration is also superb, the best of the 10 or so Audible books that I've listened to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eric mathieu 08-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "I loved it. when I learned to use the rewind 30s"

    I loved it. when I learned to use the rewind 30s. not because of the narrator. just because it the complexity, my lack of understanding the subject or being sure to understand it all.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly R. Potter 11-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Actually perplexed."

    I love it when a new book can leave me scratching my head by the end. I have read so many books like this and they usually go over stuff I already have a pretty good understanding of, but this book was actually perplexing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rw9 Stony Brook, New York USA 10-08-16
    rw9 Stony Brook, New York USA 10-08-16 Member Since 2011
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    "excellent introduction"

    an excellent introduction to a complex and profoundly important scientific domain. also an engaging performance by the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yuki N. Nishimura 08-29-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Not for beginners"

    I was going to give it one star but that would not have been fair to the author or to the publisher. The reason I was going to give a low score was because the book was way over my head and again that's not the author's fault, but also the accent by the reader made it harder to understand and comprehend because it was distracting.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred 08-04-16
    Fred 08-04-16 Member Since 2007
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    "very dated info. 20 year old physics"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    20 year old physics, looking for new info. release date is 2016 publish date 2003. my flat for not paying attend.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jim Al-Khalili again?

    20 year old physics, looking for new info. release date is 2016 publish date 2003. my flat for not paying attend.


    What didn’t you like about Hugh Kermode’s performance?

    20 year old physics, looking for new info. release date is 2016 publish date 2003. my flat for not paying attend.


    What character would you cut from Quantum?

    20 year old physics, looking for new info. release date is 2016 publish date 2003. my flat for not paying attend.


    3 of 18 people found this review helpful
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  • Ross M.
    Chelmsford, Essex United Kingdom
    10/7/16
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    Performance
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    "This is a truly excellent read!"
    Any additional comments?


    Well written and well read. For such a mind bending topic, the audiobook flowed well and kept to a good pace.

    Even for a quantum layman, I felt this was a great overview of this fascinating topic.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in stretching their mind a little.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. A. Ball
    Spain
    11/5/16
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    "A little less perplexed. "

    Jim Al-Kalili certainly makes quantum physics more accessible to the lay person non-scientist. A few times I felt like I was just hearing words, but most of the time I was getting it, I think. As much as anyone can really wrap their head around quantum physics. I do feel like I know more and understand the topic better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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