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on 9 August 2015
Enjoyable until two thirds through the book and then it becomes difficult to follow.
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on 28 November 2015
Prof. Brian Cox shows how to explain complex theories in simple ways...Must read...
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on 2 November 2015
This is a difficult book! I will need to read it again - but that's no bad thing!
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on 2 May 2015
Bought as a gift. The recipient was pleased and I am pleased with the seller.
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on 18 November 2011
I thought someone like Brian Cox would explain the mysteries of quantummechanics at last. Now, I am left wondering, whom the book was aimed at. There is a fair amount of mathematics to contend with and quite a few graphs to interpret. He keeps reassuring the reader it is quite elementary, dear Watson. Well, anyone who can follow the maths, will know, how the orbits of electrons look like, how the periodic table is built up and how a conductor and a semiconductor work. He keeps winding clocks ad nauseam, but then springs a surprise. As if everybody knew it: the Pauli principle means, that no two electrons in the whole universe can have the same energy level! One was told at university, that the Pauli Principle meant, that electrons within an atom or a molecule must have different quantum numbers. Surely, that is different. Now, maybe I missed a trick and the Pauli Principle has evolved in the meantime. Checking on Google, authors seemed to agree on the old-fashioned view. Now: what is true?
At another point in the book, the strange particle behaviour is explained by :"You can see, that the graph is leaking a bit." Now: who drew the graph? This explains nothing. As before, the authors bore the reader with clocks winding and winding and at a crucial point: plonk, there we are.
Another annoying detail comes with the treatment of Ohms Law. The authors state, that in the end, when the electrons reach the top of the energy band, the current will reverse. Very odd, very weird, but not within the scope of book. Then: why ever mention it?
On the famous double-slit experiment we are told, that as we are made up of many atoms, it is of no concern for us. Bit flat, I thought.
So the book goes to great length to explain the well known and does nothing to convey the new. And the question as to the Pauli Principle remains.
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on 15 February 2015
As usual, Cox makes the totally counter-intuitive comprehensible. Lovely!
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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm coming to this book as an interested novice.

Have to admit that I skipped the more mathematical parts but got the general concepts. This book has been clearly written with passion and a desire to explain clearly to those who didn't have the best science teachers at school.

Be prepared to read this twice, a good few weeks after the first round, so the information has had chance to sink into your brain and you might find you pick up more. If you only have a light interest in physics though, try something a little more easy going.
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VINE VOICEon 22 November 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Do not buy this book for that nice man off the telly. This is written by the serious scientist. Ignore the quote from the observer about it being accessible and breezy. This is hard going. It might be easier if you have A level or a degree in maths, but i don't and i couldn't make head nor tail of it.

Quantum physics is tough going. Nobody really understand it, and i struggled with the maths that is deployed early on. There was also a rather incomprehensible analogy about clocks that left me totally confused (i understand the concept of probability functions which, i think, is what they were talking about). After that, i'm afraid i couldn't go further.

I gave up around p100: i just had no idea what was going on. So bear that in mind.

But this isn't a popular science book by any means. It's dense, technical and demands a level of mathematical ability and understanding that was beyond me. So if you think this is the follow up to Wonders of the Universe, it ain't. It's a rather unvomfortbale attempt to bridge the gap between popular and serious science.

Good luck with it
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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2011
I bought "The Quantum Universe" thinking mistakenly that it would be a simplified "Quantum Theory for Beginners" type of book aimed at the interested non-scientist curious about the "holistic drivel" relating to quantum theory that abounds at present.I was to be disappointed. I found this book to be virtually incomprehensible and formed the impression that only Physics graduates or particularly bright A Level students could make any sense of it. Once the author started discussing "clocks", I got lost and I ended up skimming through the book becoming increasingly baffled as it wore on. I thought that Steven Hawking's "The Grand Design" and "A Brief History of Time" were difficult ,but they were easy compared to this book. I am sure that to an appropriately qualified scientist , "The Quantum Universe" might be quite brilliant , but I would advise any non scientist thinking of buying this book to think again and purchase something more basic and less technical than this.
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on 3 July 2014
I've read it now. I think I'll just go and have a bit of a lie down.
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