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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

on 3 February 2015
I am reading Carlo Rovelli's very impressive best seller on quantum physics but this guy is in the same camp as Laurence Krauss and Dawkins. Nothing wrong there but there are prestigious physicists who have a different take on physics. Nick Herbert won't call you 'stupid' for asking about your place in the standard model like the Carlo Rovelli's of this world do.
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2015
A super introduction into the weird world of quantum mechanics.

Well written and easy for the lay reader to follow it sheds a light onto this fascinating area.

Well worth reading & highly recommended
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on 7 June 2010
Having read most popular science books on Quantum Physics (QP), I am familiar with all the real and thought experiments described in this book. Even so, I found Dr Herbert's descriptions surprisingly taxing so cannot recommend the book as an introduction to QP.

Nevertheless, and despite the fact that the book almost 25 years old, Dr Herbert presents some QP ideas that I have not encountered elsewhere, making this book truly essential reading for any layperson with more than a passing interest in the subject.
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on 11 December 2009
Heavier on Quantum Physics than Metaphysics. Philosophers without the science and mathematics will struggle. Food for thought but comes against the same difficulty of bringing together the objectified and metaphysical realm of reality and the self.
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on 25 December 1996
Herbert objectively discusses quantum 'reality', and does not bog the reader down with
attempts to link quantum theory to religion or new-age science; rather the focus is first
on discussing how some actual experiments simply defy explanation via classical physics;
and secondly on explaining the new thinking that some physicists have utilized in their
attempts to make sense out of these experimental results. This book gives you 'quantum
weirdness' without the fluff: the lay reader will learn more about quantum theory from
this book than from any other single book out there.
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on 3 September 2015
Very interesting and thought-provoking
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on 14 November 2014
Thought provoking, well written and an enjoyable read
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2007
The front cover of "Quantum Reality" has the subtext "Beyond the new Physics, an Excursion into Metaphysics and The Meaning of Reality", a label that might tend to frighten one off. That would be a great pity, because anyone interested in physics and popular science will find this book very rewarding.

Being interested in popular science myself, I have read quite a number of books over the years dealing with the general evolution of scientific knowledge. Some of these books have been more accessible than others, some more specific in content, some very enjoyable and others not so. Many of these books have dealt to some degree with quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics, or quantum physics, deals with the world of the very small, the atomic and sub-atomic world. Strange, counter intuitive, illogical things appear to happen there. That world is too small to observe directly, so it can be explored only through the experimental observation of its effects, and through theory and mathematics. The experimental and mathematical verification of basic quantum theory is staggeringly convincing. But nobody, absolutely nobody, knows what reality it describes, or how it works. The famous and brilliant physicist Richard Feynman once said "I think that it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics".

All this might seem a little discouraging to the potential reader. But if you have an interest in the subject, however slight, I recommend this book highly. Nick Herbert has produced a fine work which treats the subject in a non-sensationalist and comprehensible manner - inasmuch as quantum physics can ever be comprehensible. You don't have to have any math to enjoy it, just an open and inquiring mind. The book can be an introduction to the subject or, for those who have been there before, a valuable alternative approach. As another famous scientist once said (his name escapes me) "The world is not only stranger than we think it is; it's stranger than we CAN think it is". All very intriguing, stimulating and enjoyable stuff.
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on 26 November 1997
For those souls wearied of a cut and dried world, read this book! Quantum Reality is appropriately titled, as Herbert explores the ideas of reality inspired by quantum physics. And boy does it get weird. He quotes Richard Feynman up front warning against asking "How can it be so?", and then devotes the book to exactly that attempt. The subject is abstruse, but Herbert offsets some (not too much) technical talk with vivid images and quotes. The reader can choose to "bleep over" the hard parts and still finish with a renewed sense of wonder at the universe we live in. This is an important, edifying and deeply enjoyable book.
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on 21 October 2010
This is a great book by Nick Herbert. This is a book that deals with the interpretation of Quantum Physics. But its importance is that it deals not with a 'spiritual' or 'mystical' understanding of quantum physics but with how scientists and physicists themselves interpret quantum physics. It is a book of pure science and there is no quantum mysticism involved here.

Nick Lembert discusses basically eight different interpretations of quantum physics. These include the Copenhagen interpretation, Feynman's interpretation, the 'multiple worlds' interpretation, etc. All these interpretations are the work of the greatest physicists in quantum physics. These are the ways in which the scientists understand how physics work. They are not important in getting the results of quantum dynamics, the maths of quantum physics works independently of which interpretation we may choose to believe.

And this is where Herbert shows the craziness of quantum physics: although all these interpretations are radically different from each other, they can all explain quantum physics equally well. Neither we, the non-physicists, nor the greatest physicists in the world, really know what actually is going on in this strange little world, whether the particles are behaving according to the Copehnhagen interpretation, the multiple world explanation, etc. Herbert handles this very well, we get a sense of why Feynman said, 'just shut up and calculate'. Scientists dont understand the basic reality of quantum physics either!

Another very useful thing I took away from the book was the explanation of the wave equations of Quantum Physics. Herbert does a fine job of showing what exactly waves are and how physics describes the particles as waves and what this means. This again shows up the mysteriousness of Quantum Physics in another way.

All in all, I would call this a very important book to understand the general principles of quantum physics, one that is vital because it sets out the different interpretations in a very clear and comprehensible manner.

--P.J.Mazumdar, author of The Circle of Fire: The Metaphysics of Yoga
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