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God Does Play Dice with the Universe [Kindle Edition]

Shan Gao

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Book Description

Science has made a mighty advance since it originated in ancient Greece more than 2500 years ago. Yet we still live in Plato's cave today; we think everything around us moves continuously, but continuous motion is a mere shadow of the real motion. This book will lead you to the exit of the cave along a logical and comprehensible path. After passing Zeno's arrow, Newton's inertia, Einstein's light, and Schrödinger's cat, you will reach the real quantum world, where every thing in the universe, whether it is an atom or a ball or even a star, ceaselessly jumps in a random and discontinuous way. In a famous metaphor, God does play dice with the universe. The new idea of this book may finally solve the quantum puzzle and lead to a profound shift in our world view.

Book & Thoughts Reviews:

I enjoyed reading it.
---- Tommaso Dorigo, experimental particle physicist and blogger, University of Padova, Italy

Its very existence is at any rate, an excellent illustration of the extent to which physical data force us to depart from commonsense ideas when we try to depict reality “as it really is”.
---- Bernard d'Espagnat, theoretical physicist, philosopher of science, Templeton Prize 2009 Laureate

Your book and thoughts are worth reading.
---- Fred Alan Wolf, quantum physicist, National Book Award winning author of Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists

The idea of using discontinuous motion as a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics is original.
---- Reviewer of Foundations of Physics

I fully agree with your idea of discontinuous movement.
---- Antoine Suarez, quantum physicist, Center for Quantum Philosophy, Zurich

If it goes through, this would be an original and significant contribution to the debate over the nature of motion.
---- Reviewer of American Philosophical Quarterly

It is a wonderful illumination of the discrete/continuum problem... Everyone should enjoy your concise writing style and, more so, the poetic repeats of what God does or does not do with dice.
---- Joseph Mazur, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Marlboro College, PEN Award winning author of Euclid in the Rainforest: Discovering Universal Truth in Mathematics

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 366 KB
  • Print Length: 99 pages
  • Publisher: arima publishing; 3 edition (2 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NDQN1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #514,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Shan Gao is a theoretical physicist and philosopher of physics at the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Physics from University of Sydney. His major interests are foundations of quantum mechanics, philosophy of physics, history of modern physics, and philosophy of mind. His original ideas, including random discontinuous motion, quantum superluminal communication and quantum panpsychism, have been published in professional journals such as Foundations of Physics, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Minds and Machines, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and so on. He is the author of God Does Play Dice with the Universe, Quantum Physics: From Illusion to Reality, Understanding Quantum Physics: An Advanced Guide for the Perplexed and several other books. His first popular science book Quantum: A Historical and Logical Journey (in Chinese) is very successful, and it has sold more than ten thousands copies in China during the last few years. His new edited book Protective Measurements and Quantum Reality: Toward a New Understanding of Quantum Mechanics will be published in 2014 by Cambridge University Press, and the list of contributors includes Yakir Aharonov et al. For more details please visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 26 Sept. 2012
By Sy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The book deals with a very interesting problem of physics: how do objects move? Is motion continuous or do bodies disappear from one position to just appear in another? Is motion caused? Is it deterministic? Unfortunately I found the treatment of the subject to be lacking and the logic left something to be desired. Let me give a couple of examples.

At some point the author seems to make the following argument:

- Newton's inertia laws really deal with changes in velocity, not with the cause of motion.
- Therefore motion need not have a cause.
- If motion is uncaused then it is random.
- Therefore motion is both uncaused and random.

In actuality, Newton's 1st law deals with uniform (constant velocity) motion. If a body is moving in uniform motion, it is true that there's nothing that at each instant keeps that body in motion. But random motion is not uniform. It implies continuous changes in direction and velocity. This requires acceleration, which, as Newton's 2nd law teaches us, requires a force (cause). Therefore, if we only use Newton's laws, random motion cannot be uncaused. Personally I find Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle to be a much better argument for uncaused motion, but the author doesn't use it.

The second problem I have with the book is that it confuses caused/uncaused with deterministic/probabilistic. The two are simply not interchangeable. The motion of an arrow is both caused (by the bow) and deterministic (in the macroscopic sense). The motion of a subatomic particle at rest is both uncaused and probabilistic. The reflection of photons by glass on the other hand is caused (the photons wouldn't change trajectory if the glass wasn't there) and probabilistic. Once I figured out the author was confusing these terms, things started making a bit more sense.

I think physics is one of those subjects that requires the most rigorous treatment, so I give the book 2 stars because the subject is interesting and thought provoking, but the content disappointed me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very deep interesting analysis. 29 Jun. 2014
By Anthony Thorne MBE - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Beautifully argued, but don't try to convince any kind of marksman that his projectile must always have a random trajectory, although it may seem like that when he misses. I wonder what this author will write next? Recommended for a fascinating read, but not with a common sense approach.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confirms my prior perspectives, yet offers surprising arguments and concepts! 8 Jan. 2013
By Frank Lovell Jr. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very thought-provoking, filled with conceptual challenges (many may seem quite novel but I found them all meritorious) which physics-savvy readers will be delighted to wrestle with. The author articulates well and clearly, yet readers may nonetheless feel a need to read it twice. I may write an expanded review and upgrade my rating after I read it a second time <grin>.
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star 25 Mar. 2015
By Jozua - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Using scientific shield to hide mythological mind.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would like it even better if I could understand it!! 29 Jan. 2012
By Kendog - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yeah, that probably has more to do with me than the author. This is some pretty deep stuff, but if you are at all curious about what just might be happening at the most basic level of the universe, you can't go wrong with this book, especially for the Kindle eBook price.

Fascinating might be an understatement. As for me, I will enjoy reading it again and again hoping more sinks in.
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