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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 8 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Uncertainty (Kindle Edition)
This book explains complex concepts very clearly, and has just the right balance between science and history to be informative about both without boring you on either. He ends on a bit of a rant though, which was a shame.

Ideal for anyone who has a layman's understanding of other areas of physics and wants to pick up some more quantum physics.

Text to speech enabled would have been nice though as this feature works best with books which don't have dialogue.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars evolution of Uncertainty, 4 Oct. 2009
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Katerina "books fan" (Huddersfield, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science (Paperback)
This book is a very good account about how Heisenberg came up with his Uncertainty theory. It includes a historical review, starting from Brownian motion, as the observation that slowly injected the idea of uncertainty in science. Not everything can be measured and statistics has a place in science.

This book is mainly about the debate around quantum theory in whose heart lies the Uncertainty. In this battle the biggest scientific brains of the 20th century were involved, some of them considering quantum mechanics incomplete. Lidley follows the development of ideas and how the theory of Uncertainty evolved as a result of Bohr's mistaken view of the atom as a summation of oscilators that extend through space. Therefore Heisenberg thought of the electrons as equations for the frequencies and amplitudes of their Fourier expansion something that drove him progressively to the postulation of Uncertainty.

I liked this book a lot and enjoyed reading it even though Lindley bothers too much with the philosophy of science and the sociological aspects of quantum mechanics. At the end of his book he throws a criticism to modern science that is unjust. This is a view with which I disagree simply because modern science is hugely successful and even though philosophically the quantum theory is difficult to digest, it's implcations gave us the solid state physics and electronics. Reason goes back to ancient Greece and despite it's limitations and the poor language, this is the only correct way to do science.

The criticism that the author unleashes against Bohr is little bit unfair. Bohr left a legacy as a phycisist, not a mathamatician and there is nothing wrong with that. Bohr had physical intuition. This is a rare quality to find, that's why the biographies of the most sucessful mathematicians occupy a few volumes while on the contrary, in physics all we have is the big five. Einstein was one of the greatest mathematicians in the world contrary to what most of the people believe, however what made him so much succesful was exactly this quality, his physical intuition. It is even out of question to criticize scientists simply because of their varying perception. In science there is room for all the different kind of brains.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous. . . . !, 2 April 2013
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If you have any questions or even a basic interest in quantum theory, read this, you won't be disappointed. promise!
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Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science
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