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Qed: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 1988

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Taschenbuch, 1. Oktober 1988
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Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the nonscientist. "QED" - the edited version of four lectures on quantum electrodynamics that Feynman gave to the general public at UCLA as part of the Alix G. Mautner Memorial Lecture series - is perhaps the best example of his ability to communicate both the substance and the spirit of science to the layperson. The focus, as the title suggests, is quantum electrodynamics (QED), the part of the quantum theory of fields that describes the interactions of the quanta of the electromagnetic field-light, X rays, gamma rays - with matter and those of charged particles with one another. By extending the formalism developed by Dirac in 1933, which related quantum and classical descriptions of the motion of particles, Feynman revolutionized the quantum mechanical understanding of the nature of particles and waves.


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Format: Taschenbuch
Enigma - this term best describes QED, the notoriously non-intuitive basis of fundamental physics. But 'enigma" equally applies to this book, QED. Why is it so popular? Four lectures on quantum electrodynamics? Why would anyone, other than a physicist, rave about such a book?
Feynman cautions the audience that they may not understand what he will be saying. Not because of technical difficulty, but because they may be unable to believe it, unable to accept what he is saying. "The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is - absurd."
I long had this problem. I wanted to understand why, in addition to how nature works. I wanted some philosophical understanding, some underlying meaning. I have come to accept that the fundamental laws (rules, behavior, whatever) of physics are not intuitive, but are incomprehensible in terms of common sense.
To appreciate Feynman's QED lectures, you must have patience, some commitment (its not really difficult), but more than anything else you need a willingness to set aside disbelief and simply listen to a physicist talk about quantum electrodynamics. A willingness to accept that nature refuses to be understood. Analyzed, dissected, mathematically described (in a probabilistic sense), but not fundamentally understood. QED.
I am largely unsatisfied by books for laymen on quantum physics, string theory, cosmology, and the like. My background includes some physics and I find that a bit of mathematics is more helpful than a great many analogies, no matter how cleverly constructed. QED should have been disappointing. But I gave it five stars.
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This book is an excellent discussion of the form and meaning of Quantum Electrodynamics. The book is written for the intelligent non-physicist and explains QED very clearly, covering both the incredible accuracy (e.g. computations good to 10+ decimal places) and the strange concepts (e.g. that a particle travelling from point A to point B takes all possible paths simultaneously, in some sense) that make up this fundamental area of physics.
As usual, Feynman is lucid, entertaining and interesting. A wonderful book.
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QED. It's not Quod Erat Demonstrandum; no, it's not even Quickly Ends Dandruff. Then, what is it? Quantum ElectroDynamics. Now, if you're ignorant of physics, you're probably still thinking, "That says a whole lot. What is it?" By this rather formidable name, you might not be able to tell if you want to read the book or not, so I'll synopsize. Over three quarters (75%, if you prefer--ooh, I can do math!) of this book explains movements and interactions of electrons and photons expressed as probabilities. The last section discusses a variation of QED, quantum chromodynamics (i.e. quarks). Unlike some abstruse conjectures (most notably, string theory), quantum electrodynamics can be and has been experimentally verified. In fact, it is the most accurate theory ever devised! This does not mean that QED is totally compliant with common sense (fortunately; physics addicts often find common sense to be rather dull--and incorrect!). The reader learns to accept that light does not always travel in straight paths, that light reflects from all parts of a mirror, and that electrons can travel backward in time. Richard Feynman, who (along with Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger) was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize for his work on this theory, elucidates QED so that even those who have never before studied physics can understand it. (To be more accurate, they can understand *how* QED works; Feynman admits that no one, himself included, truly understands *why* QED works.) If you already are familiar with the theory, you are likely to become bored with this book. On the other hand, I'm not sure that this book is the best for physics neophytes, since it is specific in explaining this one given area (even skipping the historical background present in most popular accounts of physics).Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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i am a big physics fan, i love it. this book really interested me, though i give it four stars because though it was written with amazing wit and understanding, it is not the best of feynmann's books. though when i think of it he really couldnt of written it better. the book basically goes over the fact that you cant really know exactly how the light gets to its final position but you can most certainlly predict it, to tell you the truth, it really is a five star book, i think that i have just convinced myself. feynmann was brilliant, and me, an 18yr old former american presently israeli, and hoping to make the hard way into the IDF air force. i really think it gave me alot of knowledge about qed. it taught me that i need to go into other fields of physics before i decide my final destination. if you have any doubts, BUY THE BOOK IT WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN!!
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What differentiates Feynman from other eminent physicists of the 20th Century is his uncanny ability to communicate abstract and complicated theories of physics into totally comprehensible lamens terms. For example, in QED, he explains the movement of electrons without actually discussing vector analysis. He simplifies the calculus of quantum electrodynamics by using arrow diagrams and describes the path of electrons almost in a narrative style. The hardest thing in writing is simplicity; for Feynman, who deals with the complexities of life in their most minute detail, such simplicity is poetry to the curious mind.
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