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The Quantum Story (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Februar 2013

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"A wonderful history of the scientists and ideas behind quantum mechanics.... The basic history behind the quantum revolution is well-known, but no one has ever told it in such a compellingly human and thematically seamless way."
--Publishers Weekly

"I have never come across a book quite like Jim Baggott's 'The Quantum Story.' He has done something that I would have thought impossible in a popular book. He manages to present the full ambit of the theory, starting with the introduction of the quantum--the basic unit of energy--by the German physicist Max Planck in the beginning of the 20th century, and ending with the search for the Higgs particle at the collider at CERN in Geneva. In doing this Mr. Baggott navigates successfully between the Scylla of mathematical rigor and the Charybdis of popular nonsense."
--Jeremy Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal

"A delight to read. It is clear, accessible, engaging, informative, and thorough. It illuminates an important, revolutionary era of modern science and the varied personalities behind it."
--Peter Atkins

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Jim Baggott, Freelance science writer
Jim Baggott is a freelance science writer. He was a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Reading but left to work with Shell International Petroleum Company and then as an independent business consultant and trainer. His many books include Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation (OUP, 2015), Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the 'God Particle' (OUP, 2012), and A Beginner's Guide to Reality (Penguin, 2005).


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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The book presents a historical view of the development of quantum physics giving also the human point of view of the researchers. It is a pleasure to read.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen 63 Rezensionen
34 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Tough going 8. August 2011
Von Cat on a PC© - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This appears by all accounts a thoroughly well researched work. But, it is tough going. If you don't have a grasp of mathematics, this can, in some places, bog you down. But if you have more than just a passing interest in quantum physics, then this should not be a discouragement, as there is much in this book that can be entertaining and enlightening. Particularly if you are interested in the historical development of this area of science.

The Kindle version is well laid out with 'clickable' footnotes.

As someone who is not mathematically inclined but interested in the physical (and not so physical) make-up of our world, this has been a good find.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining and informative for the right reader 6. Oktober 2015
Von Metallurgist - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This book relates the historical development of quantum mechanics, and should serve as a useful adjunct to quantum mechanics textbooks. I liked this book a lot and highly recommend it to physicists and students of physics, both those taking university courses and those seriously studying on their own. However, I do not recommend the book for those with only a very limited knowledge of physics, because while no equations are presented the book is replete with somewhat in depth discussions of some of the finer points of the subject, particularly with regards to the interpretation of the Schrodinger wave equation, the meaning of the uncertainty principal and on the EPR experiment. All this is best illustrated by discussing what is in this book.

What is in the book –
The book discusses the development of quantum mechanics from 1900 to 2010, as depicted by 40 “moments”- critical junctures in time. These 40 moments are divided into seven parts, as follows:

Part I – Quantum of Action. This part details the origin of the idea of quanta, first developed by Max Planck in 1900. It goes on to Einstein’s application of Planck’s ideas and to additional developments, up to 1925, including the work of Heisenberg, deBroglie and Schrodinger. I found this to be a very entertaining and informative part or the book as it mixes basic ideas of physics with a bit of the biographies of the men who development them. This approach is carried out throughout the book, with some biographical information accompanying the physics discussions.

Part II – Quantum Interpretations. This part of the book discusses the various interpretations of the meaning of quantum mechanics and the controversies that developed, covering the period of 1925-27.

Part III – Quantum Debate – This part of the book further amplifies the debate about the meaning of quantum mechanics during the period of 1927-47. It focuses on Einstein’s reservations and his EPR thought experiment that sought to show that quantum mechanics, as it was formulated, was incomplete.

Part IV – Quantum Fields – This part of the book, covering the period of 1947-67, focuses on the development of quantum field theory and quantum electro-dynamics. I liked the development of Feynman’s approach and how it compared to that of Schwinger and Tomonaga. It also goes into the beginnings of the development of the quark model.

Part V – Quantum Particles – This section deals with the development of the standard model, covering 1968-2003. I found this and the preceding sections to be the most difficult when they delved into the ideas of group theory. Part IV contains a good description of the relation of symmetry to basic conservation laws, but then the author jumps to group theory and then to its application to particle physics, but without explaining very much about group theory and even less about how it is applied to the problems of describing the interior of the atom and the interior of protons, neutrons and of the particles that are observed in accelerator experiments, some of which are also found in nature due to cosmic ray collisions.

Part VI – Quantum Reality – I found the discussions of Bell’s theorem and Bell’s inequality to be excellent. I learned that there are many version of the experiments meant to investigate this inequality and determine if “reality” is local or non-local, and that there are newer types of expressions of the sort that Bell developed that are being tested. This part of the book covers the period of 1951- 2006.

Part VII – Quantum Cosmology – This part of the book deals with quantum mechanics, its application to cosmology (especially through the work of Hawking) and to attempts to develop a theory that encompasses both gravity and the standard model for particle physics. This part of the book covers these subjects from 1966-2000. There is also a brief epilogue that discusses the search for the Higgs particle up to 2010.
32 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen crisp writing and some fresh insights 29. Juni 2011
Von Rosie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Jim Baggott is taking on a path well travelled in this recounting of the quantum story. His mode of travel works well, concentrate on the human element, stretch the reader with the technical details and don't oversimplify.

You don't get a Guernsey telling this kind of history without really knowing your stuff, and Baggott shows that he does. For the early chapters, the explanations of quantum theory are as good as any I have read - De Broglie's dual wave-particle hypothesis, Heisenberg's matrix mechanics and Born's rationalisation of the wave function are stand-outs. The shadow of Einstein falls over all players and debate, and Baggott's explanations of the gedankenexperiments of Einstein and others enrich the story.

Baggott's rendition of the middle era of quantum theory after WWII gets a little turgid, with many layers of detail hanging a little limply without more mathematical backbone. The evolution and testing of the Standard Model was laborious in real life, so I guess the story needs to impart some of that. Again, Baggott really knows his stuff so, while this era is slow to wade through, I expect the index will provide the reader with a good reference to be reminded of an overview or context on specific points long after the back cover is closed. The modern era is well described and wide-ranging to help the reader see how topics such as string theory and supersymmetry have influenced modern quantum physics.

Baggott's writing is crisp and his insights and anecdotes are told, or retold, in a fresh style. It's a long story and worth the investment.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Extremely effective overview of quantum physics via its historical development - if you have some math 24. September 2015
Von Billy Hollis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
By looking at quantum physics through the eyes of the scientists confronting it, this book does an excellent job of teasing out the counter-intuitive nature of the discipline. Starting at the very beginning with the experimental anomalies that indicated flaws in Newtonian physics, it goes through Bohr's primitive model of the atom, through Pauli's exclusion principle telling us why electron orbits "fit" the way they do, through the creation of the concept of a wave function and its meaning, the first half will help you see the conceptual challenges faced by early quantum physicists and how they solved them. Along the way, you'll hopefully pick up some of that understanding too.

The second half wasn't as compelling to me, though it was still good. It covers the rise of experimental particle physics, and how that led to our current Standard Model. The best part of the second half is the coverage of the research around Bell's inequality and how it makes "hidden variable" quantum theories untenable.

If you're really uncomfortable with math concepts, you'll struggle with some of the explanations. But if you made it through first year calculus without too much grief, you'll be fine.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Quantum Theory Explained for Normal Human Beings 1. August 2015
Von RalphDaly28 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I got a B+ in quantum physics at college by memorizing what I needed to know to pass the tests. I never understood any of it until I read this book. It is a very readable history of the progress that has been made by some extremely gifted people to understand how the physical world works. The book explains what those physicists, whose names we all recognize, did to make themselves famous. The achievements of Einstein, Bohr, Schroedinger, Hawkings and many others are detailed in this imminently readable narrative that left me in awe of what they have accomplished. Although the text can get a little complicated in parts where quantum concepts are explained, it is (with just a little extra effort) understandable by a normal person who doesn't wear a caped suit with a big "S" on their chest. This is a great book for anyone that wants to have a better understanding of the weirdness of quantum physics and the true geniuses that figured it out.
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