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Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics

Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics [Kindle Edition]

Jim Al-Khalili
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Readers who enjoy mental challenges and scientific mysteries will have fun with Al-Khalili's lighthearted, accessible discussion." Publisher's Weekly

Book Description

'This book is about my own personal favourite puzzles and conundrums in science' Jim Al-Khalili

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1286 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (12 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007QUY4WW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,404 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Make no mistake, this is a well written, easy to read and understand book on some of the major paradoxes (the clue is in the title) in science. The problem is that anyone who has picked up any of the popular science books published in the past 5 years or so will be very familiar with many if not most of these. So the question is, did this book need to be written? Probably yes. I think Prof Al-Khalli gets away with it because the book is written in such a very accessible way and even if you are aware of much of the content this book will still illuminate and entertain so is probably worth the investment. Of course if you haven't read any popular science books in the past 5 years then this may all be new to you so you should definitely read the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Both on TV and in print Al-Khalili has the knack of making difficult ideas comprehensible to the average viewer or reader. I particularly liked his treatment of the the Shrodinger's cat thought experiment. A lot of other accounts, but not Al-Khalili's, seem to miss the basic point that Shrodinger was not arguing that the cat was dead and alive at the same time, but presenting a 'reductio ad absurdum' of the interpretation of quantum theory which would have led to this conclusion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent read
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good. Could have been more detailed 10 Jan 2014
By John W
I enjoyed this. Any book that manages to include Monty Hall, why the sky is dark at night, Schrodinger's cat and the Fermi paradox (amongst others) has got to be interesting!

The author's reluctance to show any maths does get in the way at times though, and some explanations seemed rather incomplete because of this. And a few times I thought imprecise use of language led him to actually contradict himself, which should have been spotted.

On the plus side though, lack of maths means that all that is required of the reader is some logical thought, so it is very accessible.

My copy had a printing flaw which made an area of every left-hand page a bit blurred, though still readable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific page turner 23 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I do like his style of explaining things, and have enjoyed his documentaries (particularly "everything and nothing"). So having read a few pages of the kindle sample, I bought the whole lot and it has a been a stimulating brain teasing page turner. I do love apparently-paradoxical puzzles, and Jim Al Khalili presents us witty a range from the simplest to the most mind bending.
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By dave
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have a science background, so do not find it difficult.
I've read a number of similar books in the past, so there is some overlap, but I quite like his style although it can get wordy when he is trying to avoid using Maths......

Having finished it, I would say it is a bit variable in content and delivery, but this may have been influenced by my prior knowledge.

Worth buying if you have some physics/maths background or have read one or two similar books and enjoyed them, but probably not the best place to start this sort of reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Paradox by Jim Al-khalili 3 Nov 2012
By Mole
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a generally entertaining book that would particularly suit A-level science students, or adults with a general interest in science but no deep knowledge. It covers nine scientific "paradoxes", some very well known and others more specialist. The style of writing is informal, sometimes excessively so, but clear and engaging. Some of the discussions of the paradoxes felt like they could have done with more explanation, rather being left having to take Al-khalili's word for it, but I suppose a balance had to be struck between detail and readability. One example of this is Olber's Paradox - why the sky is dark at night. Al-khalili suggests that darkness of the night sky is proof of the Big Bang, but doesn't really provide enough detail to show anything more than that the dark sky is *consistent* with the occurrence of the Big Bang. Notwithstanding that, the book's a good read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a paradox indeed. 25 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book. It made me stretch my mind a bit when dealing with Quantum stuff, but a very enjoyable read. If you fancy a book for some nighttime reading, try this out for size. Not a lot of mathematics is involved, but enough description to understand what is being said. All in all, a great five star read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book - shame about the packaging!
This is an outstanding book, but my only disappointment was that when it was packaged the front cover had been bent right over.
Published 6 months ago by Andre E. Herve
4.0 out of 5 stars It is alright
Ok book...though haven't had enough time to read this substantial item. When I do I will be better placed to write a review.
Published 7 months ago by TB
5.0 out of 5 stars Well argued and interestingly presented
This book explores and resolves a number of the apparent paradoxes in science through the ages and has stimulating isights into the logic of thought processes.
Published 12 months ago by J. Forse
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wacky
if you like to think outside the box, are not looking for the answers to anything and want to have your mind move a little sideways then this is for you
Published 12 months ago by Suzy dior
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable Explanationism
I found the book disappointing and predictable and even a little patronising and condescending. It doesn't really say anything new and could even be considered dated in the way it... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I found Jim's style excellent for putting over complex issues in a way that gives the reader a taste of the topics and a thirst for learning more.
Published 14 months ago by Dave
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
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Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
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