International bestselling authors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw's fascinating, entertaining, and clear introduction to quantum mechanics
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.
In their newest, the University of Manchester physics team that produced Why Does E=mc2? aims to make quantum theory "perhaps the prime example of the infinitely esoteric becoming the profoundly useful" understandable for a general audience, explaining not only what it is and how it works, but why it is important. Beginning with a brief scientific history that will be familiar to anyone who's completed college physics (but accessible to those who have not), Cox and Forshaw review Newton's laws and the discoveries of Becquerel, Rutherford, Bohr, and Heisenberg before turning to their explanation of particles and waves, as inspired by Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winner described by his friend Freeman Dyson as simultaneously "all genius, all buffoon." The authors also go on to explain the origin of the periodic table, strong and weak nuclear forces, "Why We Don't Fall Through the Floor," and myriad other interesting topics. Though Cox and Forshaw state that their goal is to "demystify quantum theory," readers will nevertheless be confronted with plenty of equations and graphs rather than anecdotes and photos. Illus.