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How quantum devices work.,
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This review is from: Quantum Physics: A Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
"Beginners Guide" is about the relevance of quantum physics to everyday technology: semiconductors and transistors; energy sources and greenhouse gases; some not-so-everyday phenomena like superconductivity and SQUIDS; even the cutting edge stuff of quantum computing and quantum encryption. All are explained in terms of a few precisely stated properties of matter at the atomic scale or smaller. The weirdness of wave-particle duality and indeterminacy become accessible with minimal recourse to mathematics.
In successive chapters an insight is given into how materials acquire their large-scale chemical, physical and electrical properties by reason of what is going on at the level of electron, photon or atom. The way these particles are able to act with a concerted weirdness then seems just as reasonable as their bizarre individual behaviour.
The maths would be even easier to follow if more care had been taken with proofreading. Errors are confined mostly to the panels of mathematical details (where parameters annoyingly come and go like quantum particles) but there are also some in the main text (see posted comments).
Historical background is sketchy. We read: "James Clerk Maxwell . . . around 1860 showed the aether postulate was unnecessary". Arguably, it was he who started this entire goose chase; Michelson and Morley were still on the trail in 1887 and famously drew a blank; a kludge was proposed in 1892 by Lorentz; Einstein cleared things up a bit in 1905 - but the hunt ran and ran.
A brief analysis of how quantum indeterminacy might actually come about is presented in a well-argued short chapter at the end. If this stimulates further interest, then get the excellent companion volume Quantum Physics - Illusion or Reality. Both books are rewarding reads.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Oct 2009 22:11:41 GMT
S. Westwood says:
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2009 22:55:59 GMT
Antony Warner says:
Wrong side of the bed today? I thought the review was moderately usefull...
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2010 01:07:48 GMT
Mr. Roger O'Donnell says:
I thought it proved the reviewer knew more than the Proof Editor of the book.
Posted on 25 Aug 2010 14:28:19 BDT
A. Mutimer says:
If a book like this has errors I, for one, want to know. There is NOTHING so annoying as working hard to understand some maths and then finding there is a sodding error in the presentation. I have done that with technical books more, than once, and I still haven't forgiven the people involved. I only wish the errors this reviewer found were laid out in the review in detail so I can work round them.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2010 14:10:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Sep 2010 12:19:47 BDT
M. Woodman says:
Here are some:
p33: Planck's constant=6.6x10^ -34 (not 10^ -23)
p42, Box 2.4: In the 4th equation the term d subscript -p is redundant
p56: Pauli exclusion principle: should read '...can contain no more than...' (missing 'no')
p54, Box 2.7: In the 3rd equation /h is missing as denominator
p57: The second energy state can contain 8 electrons, not 6 as stated.
p98, Box 4.3: In the 3rd equation the term L is missing from the denominator.
These are just the ones I pencilled in on my copy.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2011 13:53:34 GMT
A. Rodgers says:
It is an excellent idea to post errata as comments on an Amazon review like this. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Mar 2011 13:16:23 GMT
Extant Alchemist says:
I'd like to second A. Rodgers comment regarding errata.
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