I cannot judge this book on its own merits, because, to be honest I couldn't understand or follow it. (Anyone considering the purchase of this book, please first take advantage of the "Look Inside" feature, finally available for it.)
It is obvious, after reading the introduction and the first chapter that this book would be better titled, "Quantum Physics For University Quantum Physics Students".
It is this reason why I rate this with a single star.
The quality of the book might be very good, and it might answer many questions, for a university student currently struggling with a quantum physics course -- but that I cannot judge, and that is, in my opinion, not the point.
The "Dummies series" has a history of providing information for the average person, which was what I expected when I ordered the book. I have no interest in becoming a physicist, but since we so often encounter references to facets of the topics, I wished to at least gain a basic working understanding of the ideas.
Without a doubt, to date, the best introductory resource I have been able to find on the topic has been the book, "The Quantum World" by Kenneth W. Ford. I have not yet reviewed Ford's book, because I have not yet completed it, but I already know that I will give it a very high review. Another fair book in this category is "Six Easy Pieces" by Richard P. Feynman -- which I have also not reviewed (because I have also not finished the book). The problem is that the topics are so complex that I have found that I have begun reading them up to a point where I could no longer follow, and then had to begin re-reading them from the beginning -- each time getting further and further into the book and understanding more and more until I reach another point where I can no longer follow, and need to begin again. Still, neither of these two books could reasonably be considered for the "Dummies series", but they do a far better job of it than "Quantum Physics For Dummies". [Both, the Ford and Feyman books I mentioned, can also be ordered here on Amazon.]
To be fair, in the "Foolish Assumptions" section of the introduction of the book being reviewed here, it specifically states:
"I don't assume that you have any knowledge of quantum phyics when you start to read this book. However, I do make the following assumptions:
* You're taking a college course in quantum physics, or you're interested in how math describes motion and energy on the atomic and subatomic scale.
* You have some math prowess. In particular, you know some calculus. You don't need to be a math pro, but you should know how to perform integration and deal with differential equations. Ideally, you also have some experience with Hilbert space.
* You have some physics background as well. You've had a year's worth of college-level physics (or understand all that's in Physics For Dummies) before you tackle this one."
But this "waiver" does not alter my rating. These assumptions should have made it very clear, to all parties involved, that this book, obviously, does not have the right to be considered for the "Dummies series".
Sadly, the concepts are so complex that I don't feel that I will ever find the perfect introductory resource in a mere book. In the mid-1990's, there was a considerable amount of activity in the realm of "multi-media" informational software for personal computers. The better titles offered a learning experience unrivaled by any other medium. With the combination of audio narration, to accompany the written text, along with still color graphics and video segments, the titles maximized the potential of properly conveying the information.
We can only hope that some software company, or education group, will recognize the need and market for such a work and hire Kenneth W. Ford to, first, update his book "The Quantum World", and use that as a basis for a collaboration with appropriate graphics artists to produce a multi-media series of computer software and video documentaries to present the information in a manner that is easily understood by any high-school graduate, with no prior knowledge of physics or calculus -- in "bite-sized Dummies-series style".