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In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition
 
 

In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition [Kindle Edition]

John Gribbin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 9.99
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Amazon Review

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 by the end of term: 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 maths? No. Maths 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.

Review

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wow Book As Far As Quantum Goes 19 Sep 2009
By demola
Format:Paperback
My first review went AWOL in Amazon's computers so let's hope this makes it through. John Gribbin's ISOSC is the best beginners quantum book I've read to date. As a layman, clear descriptive examples and not too much on the mass, spin and electric charge of umpteen antimatter particles work best or one loses the wood for the trees. Gribbin carefully explains the development and essential building blocks of (and personalities in) quantum mechanics and eventually even on what "spin" might be. I did get lost at Feynman diagrams showing particles moving backward in time but paraphrasing Niels Bohr, if you're not stunned by quantum mechanics then you don't get it. This is a wow book. Loved it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
John Gribbin has created an excellent book for anyone vaguely curious about Physics and moreover Quantum Mechanics.
It accurately and succinctly introduces the reader to the alien world of the very small, the world of particle physics and it's associated theory area, Quantum Mechanics. The book details the history of this study area in enough detail to satisfy those with some prior knowledge and yet will also keep the reader that is perhaps new to the Scientific arena interested throughout. Although clearly not a fictional work the "plot" follows the illuminate of Mathematics and Physics who, in the early part of this century, laid the ground work for a hugely productive area of science. It neatly explores sub-plots that highlight supporting narrative about the key figures, the mathematics they used, the air of discovery, political diversions and war across the Lab Benches as classical physics, led by Einstein, sort to push the Quantum lobby to the very limit of absolute understanding.
There are equations and experimental examples but not enough to disrupt a thoroughly good read for people without prior mathematical experience. Perhaps not quite enough for those that crave the quadratic or the matrix mechanic?
A great way to open a fascinating new way of viewing the universe(s)..!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and to the point 4 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
Having previously read some longer popular science books, they all very much dwelled on points for much longer than is necessary. John Gribbin does not fall into the trap at all and writes about everything at a length that keeps it interesting and to the point. I really like this.

The content of the book itself is very good. It explores QM, its history and also how it works, and then goes on to explain the weirdness of the quantum world, its experimental history and prospects. Finally, the future of physics and the directions in which can be taken over the coming years ('many worlds' pun, possibly? no? okay.) including supersymmetry are explored. So for a short book as it is, many aspects of QM are tackled and with good style and little spin (until towards the end), no pun intended there.

I didn't read the 'updated edition' so I cannot vouch for that, but I actually bought the book back in 2009 so I had a fairly older edition which is constantly referencing how it was written in about 1983. A lot of the content of the book has changed now as the LHC is up and running (and the Higgs has supposedly been found but that may be too recent), many more particles have been found (tau neutrino for example) and string theory/M theory are full blown theories now. So I hope that in the updated edition, this slight outdated-ness had been changed. (if someone could comment whether this has occurred or now, that would be awesome).

So yeah. Great book regardless of science ability. Mathematical ability is irrelevant as there is no mathematics in it. Recommended to anyone studying A level physics who wants further reading for personal statements and such!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By B. D. Breen VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat' is a book that tackles the most important development in physics of the twentieth century: Quantum Physics. With such a fundamental leap, however, has come a topic that is incredibly hard for anyone less than an undergraduate to understand. In his book, John Gribbin succeeds to a large extent in conveying the ideas of this complex topic to the non-scientist. A word to the wise though, if you have never studied physics, you will struggle. In my estimation, one needs an education in Physics up to a year before attending university in order to understand all of the vocabulary used in this book. Even if this worries you, however, I suggest you read on.

The book is split into three main sections: The Quantum, Quantum Mechanics and ...And Beyond. The first section deals with discoveries and developments in physics before the quantum model became accepted in any form (such as the photoelectric effect) and serves as a useful source of background information and a light introduction to the book. The second section is the main meat of the book, covering the major developments in quantum physics once it had become accepted in some form. Finally, the last section covers the more interesting (and so more difficult to comprehend) aspects of the subject matter, such as parodoxes. This is by far the most entertaining section of the book and the ideas contained within it truly serve to redefine the way one looks at the world. the book finishes with an epilogue that focuses upon unexplained phenomena and the associated theories and hypotheses that have so far gone unaccepted by the scientific community. It is here that Gribbin's passion really becomes evident and you are encouraged to think for yourself about everything you have learned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a physicist, but......
These sorts of books are always fascinating but can be difficult to read as they make you think too much whilst trying to read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Slj Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars To my other son
Giving this book as a x-mas gift to my son, as he just finished his master i digital design - and this hopefully gives him new aspects in his future work.
Published 3 months ago by Anne Gram
4.0 out of 5 stars Only a non Englishman could be so wicked to a poor defenceless cat!!
A clear well written history. Some maths; but they can be glossed over without losing too much of the plot. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr P M Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading
It is written in a very easy manner and describes complex theories succinctly and without the reader drowning in equations
Published 6 months ago by Gaston Guinness
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Great summary of the numerous revolutions in modern physics. My 16 year old daughter is enthralled by it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Transatlantic
3.0 out of 5 stars A poor treatment of a fascinating subject
While the author obviously knows his subject, in my opinion he has no gift for explaining it. He also has an irritating tabloid tendency to sensationalize Quantum Physics (QP),... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Philip Mayo
5.0 out of 5 stars Demystification or not
It explains the inexplicable in such a way that you believe that you have understood it until you explain it to someone else when you have to read it again knowing that you might... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hank
5.0 out of 5 stars Schrodingers Cat
Excellent book giving a general insight in to the beginnings of Quantum physics, explained for the non physicist to understand. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jon C
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, if a little hard-going
I don't think anyone who doesn't have an advanced knowledge of physics could read this book without finding it a mental challenge, yet it maintains the reader's interest... Read more
Published 13 months ago by D. Derbyshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind bending
Gets weirder the further in you get. I had to stop at times between certain pages just to contemplate what I'd read. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Cromlechi
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