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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wow Book As Far As Quantum Goes
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...
Published on 19 Sep 2009 by demola

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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), which is surely already sensational enough in its own right. Also, to claim at length, and in awe, that QP is responsible for all aspects of life, for life itself, is simply to state the obvious...
Published 6 months ago by Philip Mayo


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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
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (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
4.0 out of 5 stars An insight into the very fabric of everything..., 6 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (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
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (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
5.0 out of 5 stars simply awesome! words will definitely fall short..., 18 Dec 2011
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
This is a great book and for me the kind of book I've been searching all along! What makes this book so special is that it gives a very neat account of the development of scientific thought (which i rarely found in other books). Also the fact that John Gribbin is an 'actual scientist' and knows how to put the facts around the table for the vast majority is simply magnificent. Again, thank you John!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult topic conveyed through top-notch explanation, 29 July 2010
By 
B. D. Breen (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
'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.

In the epilogue, however, is a problem. This book was written in the mid-1980s and as such some of the unexplained phenomena have since been explained and some fascinating theories go unmentioned through no fault of the book (string theory is a notable example). This, I feel, is the only point that the book can ever be criticised on, and that is an inevitable consequence of time. Regrettably, this does detract from the usefulness of the book as a text for someone (such as I)looking to study physics at university. This should not be overplayed, however, as this book provides an extremely solid foundation through which to continue further research into more recent developments into quantum theory.

And now to deal with those who did not have a recent education in physics or who dropped out too early. If you are prepared to put a little work in, by looking up unfamiliar terms and concepts on the internet or in another book, then you will gain even more than most people as far as knowledge goes, this is a classic case of putting a little work in to get a large reward, and every reader is most certainly awarded handsomely.

So, in concluding, whether you are an undergraduate student or a mechanic in the backstreets of Yorkshire, you will gain no end of enjoyment and knowledge from this well-written text on one of the most interesting aspects of physics. In writing this book, Gribbin has achieved what few of the science community can achieve - he has explained an incredibly complex piece to the layman successfully and has not lost any of the content along the way. If you're looking for a strong foundation in Physics, you've found it; and for only just over a fiver, who can complain?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything You Want To Know About PHYSICS!, 19 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
If you want to know more about the world Of physics.. READ IT...
You don't need abny prior knowledge ... and even if you do know something about physics you will love this anyway...
A Must have.. as thrilling as a novel and more educational than a physics textbook.. I give you my personal guarantee!!!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Brilliant, as you might expect from a Sussex Academic., 8 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
I am one of those few people who have actualy read their copy of the Brief History of Time and this book is just as good if not better. The book is not hard to read as some may think and gives insight and wonder into the World of Quantum Mechanics. In fact I think I learnt more Quantum Mechanics from this book than I did from my entire Physics degree.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb introduction, 21 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
This book is aimed squarely at those who did not do science A-level, and as such I found it a fantastic overview. Lively, funny and jaw-dropping. What more could you want?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written but not concise enough., 18 Dec 2000
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
There is no doubt John Gribbin is one of the best scientific writers around as you'll observe if you read this book and its sequel(Schrodinger's kittens). This book however left me asking more questions because most of the aspects were not covered in detail. In view of this I would recommend this book to anyone slightly curious about quantum physics. You'll find it an exciting read without all the complex calculations and terminologies which I hunger for!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 24 Feb 2000
By 
This review is from: In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition (Paperback)
This book tackles a difficult subject but explanes it so well that noone should have trouble understanding it. Mr Gribbin has done a wonderful job.
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In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition
In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition by John Gribbin (Paperback - 1985)
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