Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
One of the best books I've read on the subject for the layperson and student
on 9 June 2017
I would recommend this book to anyone seeking an introduction to quantum mechanics. I am well read in this area, yet I have learnt some new things, like how the Fourier transform on the wave function gives a mathematical reason for Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Khalili doesn't gloss over the counter-intuitive, not to mention weird, aspects of quantum physics. In fact, he does his best to explain that the 'quantum world' is totally consistent within the confines of its mathematical rules whilst defying all attempts to explain its physical manifestations based on our everyday experience.
He only includes one equation in the book, for 'aesthetic reasons', which he calls 'the most important equation in physics': Schrodinger's equation (John Barrow gives it the same status). Not all physicists agree, like Carlo Rovelli, who argues that the wave function is a fiction and therefore an illusory mathematical tool. Khalili, on the other hand, makes the wave function central to his exposition on virtually all aspects of the subject, whilst acknowledging its existence outside mathematics is not an undisputed fact. However, only a wave function can provide a visual analogue for physical phenomena that are unique to quantum mechanics like superposition and entanglement.