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The God Effect: Quantum Entanglement, Science's Strangest Phenomenon [Kindle Edition]

Brian Clegg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The phenomenon that Einstein thought too spooky and strange to be true

What is entanglement? It's a connection between quantum particles, the building blocks of the universe. Once two particles are entangled, a change to one of them is reflected---instantly---in the other, be they in the same lab or light-years apart. So counterintuitive is this phenomenon and its implications that Einstein himself called it "spooky" and thought that it would lead to the downfall of quantum theory. Yet scientists have since discovered that quantum entanglement, the "God Effect," was one of Einstein's few---and perhaps one of his greatest---mistakes.

What does it mean? The possibilities offered by a fuller understanding of the nature of entanglement read like something out of science fiction: communications devices that could span the stars, codes that cannot be broken, computers that dwarf today's machines in speed and power, teleportation, and more.

In The God Effect, veteran science writer Brian Clegg has written an exceptionally readable and fascinating (and equation-free) account of entanglement, its history, and its application. Fans of Brian Greene and Amir Aczel and those interested in the marvelous possibilities coming down the quantum road will find much to marvel, illuminate, and delight.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"A marvelously clear and engaging account of the people and ideas involved in trying to understand the deepest mysteries of the quantum world and convert them into a useful technology."
---Gregory Chaitin, author of Meta Math! The Quest for Omega

"If you thought science was a predictable commonsense business---maybe even a little dull---you haven't encountered quantum entanglement. A physical phenomenon so strange and all pervasive that this book calls it the 'God Effect,' entanglement leaves common sense shattered."
---from The God Effect
If you've ever wondered whether mankind might someday communicate across the vast distances between the stars, develop codes that cannot be broken, devise computers that would make finding a needle in a haystack trivial, or even learn to create teleportation, then the amazing science portrayed in Brian Clegg's The God Effect will astound and fascinate with its portrayal of a universe---our own---so strange that imagination can scarcely suffice to grasp it.

About the Author

Brian Clegg is the author of A Brief History of Infinity, The First Scientist: A Life of Roger Bacon, and Light Years: The Extraordinary Story of Mankind's Fascination with Light. He holds a physics degree from Cambridge and has written regular columns, features, and reviews for numerous magazines. His books have been translated into ten languages. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1424 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (21 July 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #288,676 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Top Customer Reviews
87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of the future 6 Aug. 2006
This is an absolutely fascinating book.

I cannot claim to be a scientist, but have always been interested in science. I suspect that I am not alone amongst amateurs in having some pretty muddled ideas and this is certainly so in the case of quantum physics. Without any sense that I was reading a text book, The God Effect helped me a little along the way to understanding some of the weird and wonderful happenings that occur at this miniature level of the physical world.

Brian Clegg never sets out to tell us what the future will look like; he does not pretend to be able to read a crystal ball. Rather, he tells us how one particularly strange phenomenon, quantum entanglement, is already being applied technologically and explores some of the possible future applications. To me, still struggling with the pace of change in the last twenty years, the future looks fantastical. This is a book I will keep just so that I can read it again in a few years time to see how far things have moved on.

I would not say that this book is suitable for everyone. In a few parts of the book, I struggled with concepts that were beyond my level of physics or mathematics (GCSE level). This is good: I was challenged, though never to the extent that I felt either overpowered or ignorant. I suggest that if you want to enjoy and learn from the book you will need a very (and I mean very) rudimentary knowledge of some physics at the atomic level and a real interest in science. I have a shrewd suspicion that those with far more knowledge than the likes of me will get even more out of it.

The book is written in plain English, with a lovely sense of humour and an easy, flowing style. In my experience, this is quite rare amongst science writers. Simple diagrams illustrate various concepts very helpfully. Brief historical anecdotes punctuate the narrative, setting the background for scientific ideas and arguements. All in all, it is well written and a pleasure to read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book - I wished it was more focused 24 Nov. 2011
By Solaris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good exposition of the entanglement problems. My personal feeling was that I often got tired with it as I am very keen to understand this amazing phenomenon but often found myself into detours. I liked the bit on quantum computers and I understood why a qubic has so much more power than the bit based computers. All in all an interesting cover of the main contributors in this field.
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Silly and pointless.... 28 Aug. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author uses an old trick. Write a decent introductory chapter and follow with pages of filler. The title is a misnomer, obviously. The whole entanglement/spooky action at a distance is an interesting subject but it's not one the author explains. At best 'entanglement' is an extrapolation: a 'what if' thought experiment based on theoretical physics - based on uncertainty and probability. Rather than investigate this, and casting aside limitations like the speed of light, the author accepts 'spooky action' as fact and proceeds to imagine applications like military and time travel that could exploit unfettered instantaneous communication across light years. All rather silly and futile.
So, this is a one chapter book and it's not a great chapter. It's an okay chapter: probably!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entangled! 24 Feb. 2012
By Dave
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting read. Not to be recommended unless you want to be confused - there is no way really you can read this book without being confused at some point. This book doesn't fall into the trap of some other 'popular' science books as it does not spend the first half recapping over things which we already know. The book does go into detail about encryptions and beging to explain how quantum entanglement could be used to crack this. The idea of why quantum computers could be so good was explained to some extend but the quibit an quibbles started to confuse again.
Overall a challenging book to read .... but sometimes that is needed to make you think about how little we really know and understand most things at the most basic level. I have recommended this book to my most able A level students to help prepare for university.
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