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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief but painless introduction
I bought this book at a book signing event in Waterstones whilst waiting around for Ben Goldacre to show up to sign his book Bad Science. Marcus Chown was also in attendance and I chatted a while with him about this book amongst other things.

I have read several books on physics and quantum theory by authors such as Brian Green, John Gribbin and Stephen Hawking...
Published on 28 Dec. 2008 by Gavin Simpson

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pass Me The Aspirin Please
Marcus Chown claims "Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You". What he doesn't say is that it can leave you with a very bad headache. A friend of mine, who took her degree in physics, said it was hard - and she actually understood the subject!! For those of us without scientific training and reliant upon our native intelligence and education it's far more difficult. Chown...
Published on 14 April 2010 by Neutral


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 3 May 2010
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This is a great book for people with a little scientific knowledge and is pretty easy to read. Great if you're into that sort of thing but you'd get a bit bogged down by more standard books on the subject which are usually full of maths. I really enjoyed it.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's amazing ideas not heavy maths, 16 Feb. 2008
By 
Mr. R. D. Blackman (Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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My latest read was part of my research into parallel universes. These figure highly in my own anarchic sci-fi writing although most of my limited knowledge of the subject had been gleaned from Douglas Adams.

I am also planning my Meet The Author video. Looking at the other contributors I met Marcus Chown talking about this book, liked what he said and now I've read his book.

With Quantum Theory cannot hurt you, Marcus Chown has achieved almost the impossible. He doesn't need to resort to a single equation or diagram to explain E=MC squared since he makes the subject so accessible and easy to understand. That's even when hyper-intelligent mega-beings like Einstein say that the only thing anyone understands about quantum theory or relativity is that nobody understands it.

So after reading this book do I understand more than Einstein? I doubt it although this book might have convinced me that I do. In fact, in a parallel universe, I do understand more than Einstein. Great. Right me, wrong universe. But this book has made up for the difference as much as anything abiding by the current rules of physics can.

Quantum theory cannot hurt you is a book I can see myself going back to again and again. I was so impressed I've just bought The Universe Next Door - not literally you understand, it's another of his books.
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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars read and regret buying, 23 Jun. 2008
this book does what too many popular science books tend to do. It gives a simile and then explains it using physics. This is the wrong way round. Give the physics then explain it using a simile. Otherwise all your explaining using physics is your own bad explanation of physics. This book isn't very good. The explanation of ideas and constant Einstein worship are just irratating. Buy a book by Feynman instead - it'll be more difficult going but more rewarding in the medium to long term (and probably in the short term to). Sorry if that sounds a little harsh but I've read it and feel conned. The author writes for the new scientist, a publication I am a big fan of, but on this book he just doesn't cut it.

Also i find the other reviews rather dubious "I read other books and now I finally inderstand????", if you don't like this review then read it - you'll understand.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing - for the things it misses out, 29 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe (Paperback)
For the uninitiated, it is a challenge to make sense of the theory of quantum physics from this book alone. The author's analogies are not easy to follow. A tricky one, I know, as it is so difficult to come up with analogies to explain quantum theory, which is so far removed from our every day experience. Personally, I think the authour should not have bothered with these. And instead furnished the reader with more facts and examples of experiments and research which bear out the theory of quantum physics. I got the feeling that, as a reader, I was not given enough credit in understanding difficult, factual data.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, 30 Jun. 2011
Quite a nice book, though not without its faults - as alluded to by other reviewers on Amazon. I assume it was the publisher, rather than Chown himself, who decided to put this book out without any diagrams?! Never heard of the expression: "A picture is worth a thousand words"? There was one passage, where Chown was describing the directions of colliding particles by the hours on a clock face, like WWI dogfight pilot! This was one bit where the book hurt the most, as I tried to picture what was going on in my head.

I also wonder if there is a problem with the exemplar of simultaneity running over from p.100 to p.101? If both light flashes reach the space-walker just as the pilot passes him, then surely both light flashes will have also reached the pilot at the *same time*. Chown has set up this thought experiment differently from how I've seen it elsewhere and I suspect the essence has been lost.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But it can make your brain hurt, 14 Sept. 2013
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I was completely lost in the fog for large portions of this book, but understood enough to follow the journey towards string theory. Deep down I don't believe a word of it, but I enjoy Star Trek and Isaac Asimov as well.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking illustrations, 25 Jan. 2012
By 
C. L. Dixon (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe (Paperback)
Obviously quantum theory is a difficult topic for anyone, and therefore there's quite a challenge to make it accessible. I think Chown could have made it MORE accessible by including illustrations. A lot of the ideas he talks about are very difficult to visualise - I found myself looking up things online all the time to get my head around them. Having said that, it's still a good read but you may need to re-re-read some parts.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 4 Dec. 2013
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Love the title
I have really enjoyed this book
I Have read others by the author Marcus Chown and was not disappointed in any of them
Such a fascinating subject - buy it as a treat
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting..... and completely impossible to ..., 16 Dec. 2014
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Interesting.....and completely impossible to prove or quantify. This is a book for fantasies who need the hallowed rubber stamp of 'science' to feel it has credibility.
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14 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Dissapointed, 10 Nov. 2008
By 
George Evans - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe (Paperback)
I was very dissapointed with this book but it serves me right as I bought it based on the hype. I cringed with just about every hack joke or wittism he tried. If you think you'll learn something even mildly serious about QM or are seeking painless enlightenment, this book is pointless even within its genre - read Feynmans QED and Six not so Easy Peaces (which are, really, once explained by Feynman.)These two simple books (with just a bit more of well worthwhile effort) you'll find will round rings around Chown. If you want enlightenment on Cosmology go for Asimov. If you know something about QM already you'll spot and cringe at the often mixed-up attemps to explain many things. The cartoon style cover does this book good justice though.
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Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe
Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe by Marcus Chown (Paperback - 4 Sept. 2008)
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