• The Quantum Universe

  • (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does)
  • By: Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw
  • Narrated by: Samuel West
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw approach the world of quantum mechanics in the same way they did in Why Does E=mc2? and make fundamental scientific principles accessible - and fascinating - to everyone.The subatomic realm has a reputation for weirdness, spawning any number of profound misunderstandings, journeys into Eastern mysticism, and woolly pronouncements on the interconnectedness of all things. Cox and Forshaw's contention? There is no need for quantum mechanics to be viewed this way. There is a lot of mileage in the "weirdness" of the quantum world, and it often leads to confusion and, frankly, bad science. The Quantum Universe cuts through the Wu Li and asks what observations of the natural world made it necessary, how it was constructed, and why we are confident that, for all its apparent strangeness, it is a good theory.

The quantum mechanics of The Quantum Universe provide a concrete model of nature that is comparable in its essence to Newton's laws of motion, Maxwell's theory of electricity and magnetism, and Einstein's theory of relativity.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2011 Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Quantum Universe

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Not suitable as an audio book

The story is interesting. The performance is good. However, this book is not suitable as an audio book. There are too many references to pictures and diagrams in the accompanying PDF, which is 39 pages. Don't buy it on Audible, buy the physical book instead.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Listen

Great listen... very detailed information with great explanation and easy to understand analogies. making a very difficult complex topic a bit more understandable and easier to wrap your mind around.

1 person found this helpful

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Just an amazing listen

So, as I cut my teeth on particle physics, I needed a refresher, and Brian and Jeff were brilliant. I must admit, I can not listen to the reader at 1x speed, and I had to bump it up, knowing that when Brian speaks, it's practically warp speed. But the chapters are laid out perfectly, and I am planning on a second listen too.

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  • Purplebirman
  • 05-23-21

Hopeless as an audiobook

Overall, I had to give up on this.

This was pleasingly more in-depth than most books/audiobooks on the subject, and I enjoyed the first few chapters. However, when it got onto presenting the actual maths, in the form of equations and deriving the Heisenberg uncertainty prinicple and applying it, it was no longer possible to follow. The poor narrator had to read out numbers, constants and equations and visualising them and the described maths was just too difficult. Referring to the written accompanying material may help, or just reading the book instead!

If you don't like detailed mathematical discussions and descriptions then avoid this one. I think it goes a step too far for most scientifically literate, interested members of the public. I did some of this stuff at university but it was still too difficult to follow in this format.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Valerie
  • 05-21-21

do not buy this book

unless you have a higher degree in physics there is no point in buying this book. unlike Brian Cox's usual work, this is completely inaccessible to the lay reader. I can't understand how it got 5 stars.
I don't know why I cannot return it. I bought it less than 24 hours ago.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-13-21

Totally unsuitable as an audiobook.

An audiobook that requires the reader to refer to over thirty pages on an accompanying PDF ....is not an Audiobook.

Just supposing that I want to listen to this while driving......


9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-13-21

Fasten your seat belts!

The narration makes this book. It has pauses and emphasis in all the right places making the material much easier to understand than reading it yourself. Simon West has done a brillint job. I can't imagine how much preparation must have gone into it.
The accompanying pdf and narration work well together with the narration referring to the pdf not the book. It would have been nice to see the equations in the pdf as well as the diagrams. Even though the equations presented are very short an sweet, I had to write them down to have a chance of understanding them.
This is absolutely not phd level material. If you have studied GCSE maths or physics you should be able manage this. Anything that is new to you will have to be read a few times but that is the nature learning. This is not to be read as a novel. I had met Vectors and Complex numbers before so the hardest part of the book for me was getting to grips with the winding and shrinking clocks which was aimed at simplifying the wave mechanics - it didn't do it for me and won't be much help if you read anyone elses work. The book needed an appendix linking clocks and vectors.
Forshaw must have had a great influence in the content of this book. It is well structured and tells an absolutely fascinated story. Apart from the clock winding business there is non of the flimflam artistry of jetting around the world standing on mountain tops.
All in all, well worth five stars!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Richard S.
  • 11-23-21

An intermediate level presentation

If you are an absolute 'Quantum' novice I wouldn't start your journey here. Do return though when you have read/listened to some of the other similarly framed books on offer here. Its well worth it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-02-21

as expected

quantum theory explained in the simplest way I've ever come across. A 1st choice for the explanation of quantum mechanics for me now and I'm sure for many others too that are interested in science, but are not experts in the field.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Phillip Parnham
  • 06-30-21

Great book to understand quantum mechanics

no mathematician but even listening in the car without reference to the PDF notes it was very digestible. Will revisit in the future with the notes.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jack Easy
  • 05-11-21

Appropriately awesome

I think this book now has to be an all time favourite of mine. It required quite a lot of concentration and re-listening, but was a wonderful experience having the quantum universe revealed and explained in such a structured and empathetic way. Samuel West’s narration is excellent, my only wish would have been to have some of the maths in the accompanying pdf.
Thoroughly brilliant.

4 people found this helpful

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  • The Lit Doctor
  • 01-14-22

Grim

I've read loads of science books. I mean loads. Hawking, Gribbin, Dawkins, loads more. This book is the worst. It doesn't deliver on its promise. The subject is described in the most dull style possible, and every time the narrative claims it will relate the numbers to real life, it does so only in the scantest fashion. I don't know who the target audience is for this book. Maybe someone who has avoided all information about quantum science before now, while still being comfortable with the maths involved, and is desperate to know how the maths applies to quantum physics, but has no interest in relating it to the real world (except for transistors) . That's niche.
Not recommended, although the narrator does his best.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R Maganti
  • 10-27-21

Not suitable for audible.

Though the quality of the audiobook is unquestionable, it is not suitable for listening as it makes reference to numerous illustrations and equations, which can’t be easily visualised.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rixonium
  • 07-09-21

Absolutely my speed

I'd been looking for an audiobook or podcast that essentially develops the concepts of Quantum Physics from start to where we are now, in the world of physics understanding, succinctly and precisely for a while. With Cox and Forshaw as the authors, it's very comforting to know that what is being said is accurate. I'm halfway through listening now, and I keep coming back for more.
As an amateur physics enthusiast, this is a brilliant way to link together and solidify a bunch of different things about quantum physics I vaguely knew, but didn't really know where they fit in.
The narration is actually very good as well. It takes something that might seem a little dry, and injects some enthusiasm and engagement. Kudos Samuel West!
Also, the only other review for this audiobook states the use of clock faces (as a way of visualising and also calculating probability waves) as being childish. In fact this is a very well established way of approaching this subject material. Feynman's way in fact. :-)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andy Holland
  • 03-02-22

A picture book converted to an Audiobook

Sounds like someone thought it would be a good idea to convert a picture book to an audio book.

"If you look at figure 420.69N (iii) you will note that the clock hand is facing 3 o'clock, this shows how quantum particles sometimes behave like waves".

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-22-21

clock theory or Quantum theory?

why confuse an already difficult subject by talking about clocks for the majority of explanation regarding Quantum rules as clock rules.. childish and trying to be something it is not.