The Quantum Zoo: A Tourist's Guide to the Neverending Universe Hardcover – 1 Oct 2005
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A clear window into the utter strangeness that defines our universe. The author stands out. -- Publisher's Weekly, January 9, 2006
Never fear Chown is here! Chown makes the steep learning curve easy and entertaining. -- Science A Go Go, May 4, 2006
Presents complex science in a way that both educates and entertains. -- The Washington Post, May 28, 2006
Weird, sexy and mind-blowing. This is what good popular science writing is all about. -- Nature, April 13, 2006
The two towering achievements of modern physics are quantum theory and Einstein's general theory of relativity. Together, they explain virtually everything about the world we live in. But, almost a century after their advent, most people haven't the slightest clue what either is about. Did you know that there's so much empty space inside matter that the entire human race could be squeezed into the volume of a sugar cube? Or that you grow old more quickly on the top floor of a building than on the ground floor? And did you realize that 1 per cent of the static on a TV tuned between stations is the relic of the Big Bang? These and many other remarkable facts about the world are direct consequences of quantum physics and relativity.Quantum theory has literally made the modern world possible. Not only has it given us lasers, computers, and nuclear reactors, but it has provided an explanation of why the sun shines and why the ground beneath our feet is solid. Despite this, however, quantum theory and relativity remain a patchwork of fragmented ideas, vaguely understood at best and often utterly mysterious.They have even gained a reputation of being beyond the understanding of the average person. Author Marcus Chown emphatically disagrees.As Einstein himself said, "Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone." If you think that the marvels of modern physics have passed you by, it is not too late. In Chown's capable hands, quantum physics and relativity are not only painless but downright fun. So sit back, relax, and get comfortable as an adept and experienced science communicator brings you quickly up to speed on some of the greatest ideas in the history of human thought.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the moment, there's no free preview chapter on this site for the Quantum Zoo; but if you Google Chown's website you can sample a free chapter before making a decision.
Highly recomended, especially for the price.
At the moment, there's no free preview chapter on this site for the Quantum Zoo; but if you visit Chown's website at www.marcuschown.com, you can sample a free chapter before making a decision
But somehow I must have missed a chapter in Chown's book or maybe a section or something because no matter how hard I tried I didn't seem to be getting anywhere. The problem is that the gravity well is so intense that time is crawling by so incredibly slowly that I may never get home. I don't seem to be moving at all!
But since the universe is "neverending" and I got stuck such a long, long time ago (your time), what with Hawking's dissipation, things are beginning to look rather good. The hole is about to evaporate and I should be free. Ah, but now I remember: this evaporation is taking place something like one particle at a time and I will come out a bit thin. On the other hand despite having entered the horizon some billions of years ago, I really haven't made much progress and in fact I'm not really IN the black hole yet even though it's dissipating.
Curiouser and curiouser. Such is the world as it apparently REALLY IS.
Chown has a lot of fun with all the quantum weirdness along with a retrospective on Einstein's relativity. He writes with his usual charm and grace although don't be fooled: we are NOT enlightened. I still cannot imagine that very real but "cloudy" electron, probabilistically surrounding the proton. I cannot imagine something that is both a single-pointed particle and a wave. The duality of all matter suggests to me that there is a level of reality that we haven't reached yet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the "real" world, the one we can see and feel, things are generally predictable. Rain doesn't fall from a cloudless sky, and the sun rises at the eastern horizon. Read morePublished on 10 May 2007 by Stephen A. Haines
What I really like about Chown's books is his stories about the people who come up with all this wonderful physics. Read morePublished on 6 Oct. 2006 by EMG