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Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries Hardcover – May 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T) (May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316328383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316328388
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Accessible exploration of one of the most exciting areas of scientific inquiry - the nature of light. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Gribbin has a Ph.D in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge and is now Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex. His books have been translated into many languages and have won awards both in Britain and the United States. He is a consultant to the New Scientist. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Nov 2005
Format: Paperback
In Search of Schrodinger's Cat was mind blowing in 1985, now 20 years on much of the theory put forward in Schrodinger's Cat has been proved by experiment. Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality is what science/physics should be, interesting and thought provoking.
John Gribbin doesn't treat the reader as a complete imbecile or as the next Richard Feynman but pitches the book just right with the correct balance of technical details and clear analogies. There's not too many books on quantum theory that you can't put down, but this is without doubt one such book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
It is very rare to find a science book that is both informative and easy to understand. John Gribbin seems to manage to do just that in this book following on from the In search of Schrodinger's Cats. The ideas are built up in such a way that someone with no knowledge in the subject can access the ideas presented in the book immediately and Gribbin then goes on to develop these ideas in such a way that you are made to think about the implications. The authors own interest in the subject shines in the way that he writes and this adds to the readers discovery of an area of physics that is apparently difficult - John Gribbin should be congratulated for making it appear simple and wanting the reader to find out more. If you are doing A levels physics this is a must have!!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 May 1998
Format: Paperback
John Gribbin's book is the strongest refutation yet of Neils Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum world. The refutation is given credibility by Gribbin's describing leading edge experiments (most performed within the last five years) that shakes the Copenhagen Interpretation to its very foundation. He also makes the reader aware that the mainstream physicists are guilty of blindly accepting Bohr's quantum "house of cards" without question. Why? Primarily because Bohr was an obnoxious intellectual bully who shouted down any objection to his interpretation and campaigned unceasingly and forcefully for its acceptance. Bohr's argument was given further unquestioned credibility by John von Neuman-one of the greatest of mathematicians-supposedly proving that no hidden-variables theory could properly describe the quantum world. John Bell-not one to be intimidated by either Bohr or von Neuman's unquestioned genius reputations-showed in 1966 that von Neuman's proof, "...is not merely false but foolish!" Sadly, Bohr succeeded in his propoganda mission and science found itself having to tolerate the ludicrous notion that the Universe exists only because we perceive it! For those who find this a bit hard to accept I would stronly recommend John Gribbin's book. Whether you agree with Gribbin or not the book makes one realize that "religious fervor" is not confined to to the religious community. Bohr for one was full of it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hurst on 11 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
You know it's Christmas when that classic slice of early-eighties schoolboy humour A Hundred and One Uses of a Dead Cat ('we're still flogging it') re-surfaces in W H Smiths. Erwin Schrodinger's cat-in-the-box isn't featured - its fate probably wasn't sufficiently macabre - but its fame as the popular face of quantum absurdity guarantees this particular cat its own place in history. Sixty years on, perhaps it's time the cat was finally laid to rest? Gribbin thinks so, and reporting from the cutting edge of quantum research he explains how physicists are trying to take absurdity out of the equation.

Schrodinger's Cat highlights the consequences of quantum mechanics in laymen's terms and exemplifies the 'Copenhagen Interpretation', which has been the orthodox view of quantum mechanics since the 1930s. The main thrust of the Copenhagen Interpretation is that alternative outcomes of the experiment exist only as probability waves until an external observer checks the result. This reliance on an observer to 'collapse the wave function' leads to a morass of philosophical debate which serves to emphasise that this is a crutch for interpreting quantum behaviour, not an explanation of it. Gribbin argues that the Copenhagen Interpretation is what makes quantum mechanics hard to understand, and he leads us through the alternatives that have appeared over the last couple of decades before revealing his own 'best buy'.

The book focuses, as does much of quantum research, on what happens to electrons as they go through 'the experiment with two holes', as Richard Feynman called it.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. K. N. Bernhardt VINE VOICE on 14 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
Being a wildly creative divergent thinker myself I have little confidence in venturing into a territory which appears to be the province of eggheads, anoraks and other folk low down on one's party invitation list. However Schrodinger's Kittens drew me in from page one and for the first time ever I had the weird sensation that I understood this strange world and,having understood it, my world view was changed - forever. Or at least until the next theory comes along. Now I casually raise Quantum Theory at parties, loudly contradicting those who haven't read this wonderful book, and find gorgeous young scientists draping themselves at me,weak with admiration. A funny,intelligent and intelligible read.
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