Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics

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Penguin, 2005 - Science - 320 pages
15 Reviews
Physics, once known as “natural philosophy,” is the most basic science, explaining the world we live in, from the largest scale down to the very, very, verysmallest, and our understanding of it has changed over many centuries. In Black Bodies and Quantum Cats, science writer Jennifer Ouellette traces key developments in the field, setting descriptions of the fundamentals of physics in their historical context as well as against a broad cultural backdrop. Newton’s laws are illustrated via the film Addams Family Values, while Back to the Futuredemonstrates the finer points of special relativity. Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” serves to illuminate the mysterious nature of neutrinos, and Jeanette Winterson’s novel Gut Symmetriesprovides an elegant metaphorical framework for string theory.

An enchanting and edifying read, Black Bodies and Quantum Cats shows that physics is not an arcane field of study but a profoundly human endeavor—and a fundamental part of our everyday world.

  

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Review: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics

User Review  - Kerry - Goodreads

Jennifer Ouellette collects 38 of her best essays on physics in one volume. Writing for the layman, Jennifer makes every attempt to bring high flying physics logic down to earth. Ultimately, I found ... Read full review

Review: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics

User Review  - Mhnd - Goodreads

A general overview of the contemporary theories and the latest 'trends' in the world of Physics. Written in an easy language that does not require a past background in science. Very enjoyable. Read full review

Contents

Talkin bout a Revolution
9
Good Heavens
26
Drawing Down the Fire
43
Trompe lOeil
51
Rules of Attraction
60
lngenious Engines
67
Emperors of the
74
Disorderly Conduct
82
Shadow Casters
120
Radio Days
129
Mysterious Rays
137
A Thousand Points of Light sflg
144
lts All Relative
161
That Darn
177
Life During Wartime
192
Tiny Bubbles
208

Queens of Science
89
Calling Mister Watson
96
Thrill Seekers
104
Current Affairs
112
Energize
224
Contemplating Chaos
240
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Jennifer Ouellette writes APS NewsÂ's popular “This Month in Physics History” column, which she co-created with editor Alan Chodos in 2000. She also writes on science for such publications as Discover and Salon. She is a Jujitsu black belt.

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