FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Absolutely Small: How Qua... has been added to your Basket

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by 2ndhandbook
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Shows slight shelf wear, otherwise vgc. Despatched within 24 hours (weekdays only) Thousands of satisfied customers Complete with dust jacket, slightly creased, otherwise vgc.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World (Agency/Distributed) Hardcover – 1 Jun 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£18.99
£12.72 £10.00
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£18.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (1 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814414885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814414880
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,045,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

Review

“From why everyday mysteries have quantum roots to how to understand quantum mechanics without the math… an invaluable guide…” -- "The Midwest Book Review"

"Finally, someone caught up with the importance of explaining Quantum Theory in layman’s terms…Fayer does a marvelous job at uniting the various aspects of matter and energy.” -- "Sacramento Book Review"

“Favouring everyday examples over formulae, he makes quantum mechanics palatable, from wave–particle duality to the uncertainty principle… book provides a useful overview.” – "Nature magazine"

“…appeal to anyone with a curious mind who has ever wondered what all the quantum mechanics fuss is about, and to those who simply want to understand the everyday world."-- "ForeWord"

"... illustrates the ways in which 'the natural world is driven by quantum phenomena' with a serious, accessible treatment of a complex and fascinating subject." --Publishers Weekly

“…one of the most intriguing books about quantum science currently on the market…must-read for those who want to learn more about quantum theory.”--NSTA Recommends

."..appeal to anyone with a curious mind who has ever wondered what all the quantum mechanics fuss is about, and to those who simply want to understand the everyday world." --"ForeWord"

.".. illustrates the ways in which 'the natural world is driven by quantum phenomena' with a serious, accessible treatment of a complex and fascinating subject."" --Publishers Weekly"

"Favouring everyday examples over formulae, he makes quantum mechanics palatable, from wave-particle duality to the uncertainty principle... book provides a useful overview." "--Nature Magazine"

"From why everyday mysteries have quantum roots to how to understand quantum mechanics without the math... an invaluable guide..." --"The Midwest Book Review"

"Finally, someone caught up with the importance of explaining Quantum Theory in layman's terms...does a marvelous job at uniting the various aspects of matter and energy." "--Sacramento Book Review"

."..one of the most intriguing books about quantum science currently on the market...must-read for those who want to learn more about quantum theory." "--NSTA Recommends"

."..lively with amusing and useful examples, analogies, and descriptions of scientists and experiments...introduce nonscientists to quantum mechanics...useful for advanced graduate students and professional scientists." "--Choice"

."..interested in physics and the fundamental understanding of many pheonomena explained in laymen's terms, this book wil be the most valuable asset you will ever read." --"IEEE Electrical Insulation "

..".appeal to anyone with a curious mind who has ever wondered what all the quantum mechanics fuss is about, and to those who simply want to understand the everyday world." --"ForeWord"

..". illustrates the ways in which 'the natural world is driven by quantum phenomena' with a serious, accessible treatment of a complex and fascinating subject."" --Publishers Weekly"

..".one of the most intriguing books about quantum science currently on the market...must-read for those who want to learn more about quantum theory." "--NSTA Recommends"

..".lively with amusing and useful examples, analogies, and descriptions of scientists and experiments...introduce nonscientists to quantum mechanics...useful for advanced graduate students and professional scientists." "--Choice"

..".interested in physics and the fundamental understanding of many pheonomena explained in laymen's terms, this book wil be the most valuable asset you will ever read." --"IEEE Electrical Insulation "

From the Inside Flap

Our intuition about how things should behave is usually right in the everyday world. We see the baseball soar in the air, arc, drop, and lie stationary on the ground. Through data gathered by our senses and basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics, the motion of a ball makes perfect sense. But enter the world of the tiniest particles on earth--the motion of electrons, the shapes of molecules--and everything we think we know about the world radically changes. To understand what's really happening in the world around us, to comprehend the mysterious, counterintuitive science of the small, we must take a quantum theory view of nature. Like no other book before it, "Absolutely Small" makes the inherently challenging field of quantum theory understandable to nonscientists, without oversimplifying and without bogging down in complicated math. Written by an award-winning professor at Stanford University, the book uses clear explanations, real-world examples, and diagrams instead of dense equations to help you understand: Why strawberries are red and blueberries are blue How particles can change from "mixed states" to "pure states" based solely on observation How a single photon can be in two places at the same time Why quantum matter sometimes acts like particles, and other times like waves Why a piece of metal will glow red when it is hot, and turn blue when it's even hotter What makes salt dissolve in water, while oil does not, and much more In the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Lewis Thomas, but without the rigorous mathematical requirements, "Absolutely Small" demystifies the fascinating realm of quantum physics and chemistry, complete with compelling accounts of the scientists and experiments that helped form our current understanding of quantum matter. Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, "Absolutely Small" develops your intuition for the nature of things at their smallest and most intriguing level. Michael D. Fayer, Ph.D., is the David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has won major prizes and honors in the fields of physics, chemistry, and molecular spectroscopy, and is the author of "Elements of Quantum Mechanics."

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Well written, with clear and concise explanations of a complex subject. Some of the text was over my head, but, all in all, the
descriptions are understandable, and are accompanied by simple diagrams.

Better editing would have corrected spelling mistakes... the author continually uses "discreet" when "discrete" is meant, but the book is still worth five stars.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the greatest books of quantum mechanics for beginners.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
very good book...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true teacher at his best 21 Dec. 2010
By James Best - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Professor Fayer utilizes the reflexes and guidance of a supurb teacher in taking the reader from basic quantum concepts to deeper levels, building and expanding as each page turns in a satisfying stepwise process. He takes care to relate quantum theory to our everyday experiences explaining how the mind and body discriminate and interpret quantum effects and actions. Another teaching skill frequently found is Professor Fayer's understanding that students may need their recall refreshed at various points without having to thumb back many pages for a definition or explanation. He "tells you what he's going tell you...then he tells you...then (when needed) he tells you what he told you."

The treatment of the orbital levels of the atom and the bonding within and between molecules is the best I have ever seen. In fact, the descriptions I have seen just didn't paint the complete picture...but here Professor Fayer presents each brush stroke successively composing these difficult concepts into an understandable picture. It's all there, and if some particular aspect is a bit foggy in the reader's mind, no problem, this book is an excellent resource. Just go back and review...it's all there.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helps to get a qualitative handle on quantum mechanics 30 Jun. 2011
By Mr. Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I minored in physics at the university and survived 3 years of it because I was good at math. My courses in physics stopped with Maxwell, so I didn't get into quantum mechanics or relativity. After retiring I decided to keep my mind active by going over my toughest courses that I had taken, essentially analytical mechanics and electricity and magnetism. I had a 1935 edition of Linus Pauling's Quantum Mechanics that my father had used while he was studying for his Ph.D. in chemistry at Purdue University. I got through 50 pages, but I didn't get much of a mental picture, so I decided to try to find texts that were more descriptive. I read Gamow's Thirty Years That Shook Physics and some Feynman. These definitely helped. When I noticed that Leonard Susskind, two books of whom I had read, recommended Absolutely Small, I ordered it. Now after having carefully read it, I feel that I understand these things to a moderate degree, and I am more content than before, that the universe makes more sense to me. The best aspect of this book is that it motivates in an intuitive manner the meaning of Schrodinger's equation and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, both of which I previously was aware of, but didn't understand the "why" of. When one starts to understand something that was an enigma before, a kind of light gets turned on and one thinks "That's Cool." To all curious people who want to know more about reality in this sense, I heartily recommend this book. It was a breakthrough for me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the motivated reader 18 Dec. 2014
By rickzz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Echoing other reviews, I liked this book but it's certainly not for everyone. Chapters 1-10 are an excellent primer on basic quantum theory. Chapters 11-14 on chemistry fundamentals are much more challenging- and a chemistry background would be very helpful. The rest of the book is on "applications" (alcohol, fats, CO2, conductors, etc.)- thankfully, it's not necessary to fully understand chapters 11-14 to appreciate this section.

Overall, this is one of the best QM books for those who are interested in the technical details (without overwhelming math)- two other outstanding books are Susskind's Quantum Mechanics (2014) and Gerry's Quantum Divide (2013).

By the way, I bet this book's sales would be higher if the title was "Quantum Small"- it doesn't readily show up as a QM book when doing a search on amazon.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos for a Quality Quantum Physics Book 12 July 2011
By Glenn E. Oehms - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally, a book about the essentials of quantum physics that actually discusses those essentials clearly and in adequate detail that beginners may, with some effort, glean understanding.

Fayer initially establishes the classical context that forced the quantum revolution because specific experimental results could not be explained through classical theories. Other books discuss this history, things like the photo-electric effect and the black-body radiation dilemma, but Fayer puts it in an experimental context and demonstrates why quantum perspectives were necessary to solve and explain these and other puzzles that emerged as classical physics reached explanatory walls or barriers.

By walking the reader through the Periodic Table to emphasize the roles that quantum effects play in structuring atoms and enabling molecular bonding, Fayer reveals better than any of the dozens of books I have read on quantum topics how everyday phenomena owe much of their character to the quantum constraints of size and the complementarities where Uncertainty lurks.

Philosophically speculative books on the "meaning" of quantum physics abound, some interesting, some intriguing, and many appear off some deep end. If such a search for meaning is your only interest, this is not the book you want. That Fayer does not engage in such speculation is a strength of his book. He maintains his attention to elucidation of the known characteristics and effects of quantum bedrock, albeit superpositioned bedrock. No single book ever fully exhausts the possibilities for exploration of a topic. Fayer, however, provides, through his discussion of the elements and the ways that electrons fill the orbitals (atomic and molecular bonding and nonbonding), a solid base for his excellent examples of why these things are important to us in our encounters with the resulting chemistries that may do us well or do us harm or even do us in.

Close attention to the graphics and the verbal descriptions of what they convey pays off for the reader. Absorption rates vary, but quantum leaps of understanding make an appealing metaphor. I think even Robert Pirsig would say this book embodies quality. I know it does for me. Kudos again, Mike.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quantum chemistry for the layman 22 Mar. 2011
By W. Cheung - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The aim of the book, I think, is to use quantum mechanics to explain chemical bonds; then, building upon this understanding, to explain properties of molecules - e.g. absorption of light, solubility of substances, etc.

It spends eight chapters on the foundation of quantum mechanics. I think this is worthwhile because the author has an extraordinary ability to teach the reader basic concepts very clearly. He makes the whole discipline of quantum mechanics not strange or mysterious, but rather a matter of fact.

Once you have accepted that there is nothing weird about quantum mechanics, he then spend six chapters on explaining the periodic table and the covalent bond.

Finally, the last six chapters of the book uses quantum mechanics to explain macroscopic phenomenon - e.g. why carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, why salt is soluble in water, etc.

In summary, easy to read, straighforward, interesting. Four stars.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know