Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of Hardcover – 10 Nov 2011
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Times Higher Education Supplement (UK)
"Experts will relish these paradigm-shifting concepts...physicists will find it a joy. For them the title is well chosen."
Times Higher Education Supplement (UK)
Experts will relish these paradigm-shifting concepts physicists will find it a joy. For them the title is well chosen. "
About the Author
Stephen Hawking is the most highly celebrated and recognized scientist alive today. He first came to mainstream prominence with the publication of A Brief History of Time, and followed with a second triumph, The Universe in a Nutshell, and most recently, The Grand Design. The media has called Hawking "the most intelligent man in the world today" and "the scientific heir to Einstein, Newton, and Galileo." He lives in Cambridge, England.
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Top Customer Reviews
The selection of papers was presumably made by Stephen Hawking. If so, it is rather odd in that a number of key papers are missing. In particular Bohr's famous paper 'On the Quantum Theory of Line-Spectra' is replaced by a much later review article. No doubt this makes for easier reading but it is not in the spirit of the book as advertised. Again, the key paper by Born Heisenberg and Jordan 'On Quantum Mehanics' is not there, probably for the same reason. As usual in US/UK physics de Broglie's contribution is absent. Amazingly there are 2 long papers by David Bohm on his hidden variables interpretation of quantum mechanics (39 pp!) which has had zero influence on current physics.
The introduction by Hawking is a (very) brief history of the subject which seems to be present mainly to justify his name on the cover. It does not discuss the contents in detail. It also looks as if Hawking was not involved in the brief commentaries heading each chapter: these are attributed to Joel Allred. They will not help you to understand the papers. (If you want to know what can be done to explain the papers and their history in detail, look at '100 Years of Planck's Quantum' by Duck and Sudarshan or 'Sources of Quantum Mechanics' by van der Waerden.)
A largish proportion of this volume is taken up by review artcles and even a couple of chapters from a popular book by Gamow; hardly 'the most astounding papers ...' promised on the dust jacket.Read more ›
The real strength of the book is in the choice of which papers to include and this is where Hawking's expertise comes in. Here you have between the pages of a single volume every important paper that was written by the original discoverers of Quantum Theory; Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, de Broglie, Feynman, Dirac, Pauli, etc. He includes them all... and even includes the seminal papers of David Bohm from 1952 and John Bells papers on hidden variables which though not considered mainstream are central to undertanding what is behind Quantum Theory. A keyresource book for anyone who wants to study this area seriously and who is not afraid of equations. If you want to really understand Quantum Theory you really need to understand the orginal ideas and thoughts from the people who actually came up with the ideas themselves. This is the only book to do that for you.
[The following paragraph is too harsh - I will correct it in a comment.]
What might have been a superb book has been marred by shoddy proofreading. There are numerous glaring typographical errors that unfortunately extend to the formulae. Phi and psi get mixed up, subscripts or exponents are printed in normal font or vice-versa, and so on. I do not think that this makes the book unreadable - if you know the maths you will usually be able to work out what is wrong. But it makes reading these papers even more challenging and wastes considerable time. Moreover one cannot be confident that any equation taken from the text is correct.
Chapter five on philosophical issues is representative of the others. The first item is Max Born's Nobel Prize acceptance speech in which he describes his statistical interpretation of the wave function.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Includes all the very important Quantum Physics papers that shaped our models for studying Nature. An excellent companion and first class resource for every Physicist or one that... Read morePublished on 22 July 2014 by I. S. PILIOUNIS
Same recipient,same love of the subject,amazed at the complexity
of this volume,but not deterred by it.
A book to treasure.
As expected, a lucid and entertaining account of difficult and nebulous theories. Looking forward any or other publications from this genius.Published on 21 Mar. 2013 by Mr A R J Crawford
My own fault, my knowledge base is two narrow to fully appreciate this collection of ground breaking papers. Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2013 by Nickabit
Ordered this for a relation who loves maths and physics - amazed by the size of the book :-)
Some of the chapters have the maths so might be offputting to those allergic to... Read more