- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (3 April 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747531927
- ISBN-13: 978-0747531920
- Package Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 4.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Who's Afraid of Schrodinger's Cat?: The New Science Revealed - Quantum Theory, Relativity, Chaos and the New Cosmology Hardcover – 3 Apr 1997
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Schrodinger's cat is the symbol of the new physics. Conceived by quantum theorist Erwin Schrodinger to illustrate the apparently insoluble conundrums associated with quantum reality, the cat has become a symbol of much that seems unfathomable in 20th-century science. Schrodinger's cat lives in an opaque box with a fiendish device, triggered by the random decay of a radioactive sample, that determines whether the cat is fed food or poison. If a decay particle hits one switch, the cat gets food; if it hits the other it gets poison. Since in the quantum world all possibilities co-exist, the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. Aimed at the law reader, this study explores the key concepts of modern science - chaos theory, the uncertainty principle, relativity and quantum physics - ideas that fall beyond the realms of common sense, but lie at the heart of 20th-century science and philosophy. It highlights fresh ways of thinking that are required to approach these concepts, as well as revealing new ways of looking at ourselves, and at humanity's place in the world and the universe. Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall are the authors of "The Quantum Self" and "The Quantum Society".
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book is then divided into about 200 separate, alphabetized scientific topics; e.g., Artificial Intelligence; Black Holes; Cold Fusion; Dissipative Structures; Gödel’s Theorem; Implicate Order; Neural Networks; Nonlinearity; Planck’s Constant; Quarks; the Speed of Light; Supergravity; Thinking; Vitalism, etc.
They note, “Those who follow the Strong Anthropic Principle usually give one of three explanations for why we exist. First, there is a God who WANTED life and consciousness built into the universe. Second is the ‘many worlds’ hypothesis… Quantum many-worlds theory argues that EVERY possible sort of universe exists, so in at least one of them we should find life and consciousness. Third, the evolutionary account of life argues that the universe is evolving in such a way that life and consciousness would be favored at some point… there is no necessary connection between the carbon atoms and life and consciousness. Even given stars and planets and the right chemical elements, the formation of life still may seem against the odds. There is as yet no firm SCIENTIFIC explanation for why we are here.” (Pg. 44)
They point out, “The concept of entropy and its increase is of enormous significance… The amount by which entropy increases is directly related to the degree in which information in a signal decreases. Information could therefore be thought of as negative entropy … Since the entropy of the whole universe always increases and is still very far from its maximum, entropy must have been very low at the time of the Big Bang. We do not know how to explain this.” (Pg. 141)
I thought the book would have benefited from having footnotes, listing sources---even just having a Bibliography at the back of the book. But as is it, it can be an interesting “quickie” introduction to a great many “new science” ideas.