Customer Review

88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How quantum devices work., 2 Feb 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Oct 2009 22:11:41 GMT
S. Westwood says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2009 22:55:59 GMT
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
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 4 Sep 2010 20:14:26 BDT
A. Mutimer says:
Many thanks.

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
I'd like to second A. Rodgers comment regarding errata.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.1 out of 5 stars (27 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£9.99 £7.99
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Exeter, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 14,578