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In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality Paperback – Aug 1 1984
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Part history book and part remedial physics text for those who lost interest when the equations started getting unintuitive, In Search of Schrödinger's Cat explains quantum physics in a way that's not only clear, but also enjoyable.
Gribbin opens with the subjects that most physics professors have just started to examine at the end of the semester: The mysterious character of light, the valence concept in Nils Bohr's atomic model, radioactive decay, and the physics of life-defining DNA all get clear, comprehensive, and witty coverage. This book reveals the beauty and mystery that underlies everything in the universe.
Does this book claim to explain quantum physics without math? No. Math is too central to physics to be bypassed. But if you can do basic algebra, you can understand the equations in In Search of Schrödinger's Cat. Gribbin is the physics teacher everyone should have in high school or college: kind without being a pushover, knowledgeable without being condescending, and clearly expressive without being boring. Gribbin's book belongs on the shelf of every pre-calculus student. It also deserves a place in the library of everyone who was scared away from advanced physics prematurely.
"A gripping account of the history of quantum mechanics and a clear description of its significance - and weirdness. Absolutely fascinating" -- Isaac Asimov "Precise yet mysterious... as beautiful as a poem and as exciting as a novel" The Sunday Times "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it" -- Niels Bohr --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Welcome to the wacky world of quantum physics, the science so absurd that even Einstein couldn't believe it (and let's face it, after relativity, he was the MASTER of the absurd-but-true) where statistics are everything, specifics only happen when you're looking for them, and nothing is real at all, anywhere.
In Schroedinger's Cat, John Gribbin not only explains all this nonsense, but he actually makes it understandable. This amazing book should be required of all college students, as part of a well-rounded education. Engineers and scientists will be amazed and think it's cool, but even "fuzzy majors" (i.e. everything else -- sorry, that's what we arrogant engineers called the denizens of that side of campus) will be able to understand it, and they too will be enlightened by it.
If you have any interest in science, in knowing what theoretical physicists really do, in knowing what a "particle accelerator" is, or even just want to have some idea about how much of Star Trek is based on real science, you MUST read this book. Not only that, but you must read THIS book before reading other books on quantum mechanics.
Ok, enough ranting. I think it takes a certain amount of Zen to grasp all this quantum non-reality particle-wave-duality possible-parallel-universe stuff. Gribbin, then, is the true Zen Master. Gribbin takes that which is not only beyond comprehension but beyond even Einstein's belief, and makes it understandable to the layman.Read more ›
This book is perhaps the best lay introduction to quantum mechanics I've come across. If you have a scientific leaning, and would like to be privy to one of the most shocking and influential scientific breakthroughs of all time (second, perhaps, only to evolution), then pick up a copy of Gribbin's "In Search of Schrodinger's Cat". It's a first-rate treatment of quantum mechanics (sans mathematics) that will instill an appreciation of just how wildly successful this theory has been, and why it justly deserves the accolade of the most significant scientific achievement of the 20'th century. You will also appreciate why even its founders would have been quite happy to see it overturned.
While the theory of evolution continues to be shocking to many, once understood it has a simple elegance and even an appealing intuition. It sheds light on previously mysterious aspect of our world. Not so with quantum mechanics! Even those who "understand" it are perpetually disturbed and/or baffled by it, as it seems to inject mysticism where once there had been seeming clarity. Neils Bohr, one of the original founders of quantum mechanics, famously quipped, "Anyone who isn't shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.Read more ›
Into the bargain, the uncertainty principle of Heisenberg says that we cannot know the present in all its details, for an electron for instance cannot possess both a precise momentum and a precise position. There are only probabilities.
The philosophical impact of these 'facts' cannot be underestimated. Even Einstein could not accept it.
As always with Gribbin, this work is easy to understand, also for the layman. This was absolutely not obvious for that kind of subject. His writing stimulates to read further work about physics and cosmology. It is a real exploratory expedition.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is alright if youd like to hear about what scientist rushed into the other ones office screaming. Or the life of Dr. Read morePublished on July 10 2004
A friend recommended this book to me...little did I know I was about to embark on a journey to the heart of the atom, and the limits of the known universe. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by emily-bronte
The author talks about all major developments in the field of Quantum Physics as of the date the book was published, but does not explain them clearly, especially towards the end... Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2003 by Swaminathan Iyer
Does this book In Search of Schrodinger's Cat only begin to exist once I start reading it?Published on Aug. 7 2003
It's hard to overstate the importance of this book. It's also hard to overstate the value. John Gribbin has written one of those timeless books that belongs to the ages. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by Wayne Rash
You need not be an interlect to understand or enjoy this book. I loved it very much. I found it to be very good in introducing quantum physics and reality. Read morePublished on July 15 2002 by Steve
I have picked up this book off the shelf and read like 50 pages in the store(Than i bought it). Read morePublished on March 5 2002 by Amazon Customer
It is a pity Quantum Physics has not penetrated into the School curriculum as the students have to essentially unlearn what they have learnt once they see this... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2002