101 Quantum Questions

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Harvard University Press, 2011 - Philosophy - 291 pages
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Ken Ford‚e(tm)s mission is to help us understand the ‚eoegreat ideas‚e of quantum physics‚e"ideas such as wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, superposition, and conservation. These fundamental concepts provide the structure for 101 Quantum Questions, an authoritative yet engaging book for the general reader in which every question and answer brings out one or more basic features of the mysterious world of the quantum‚e"the physics of the very small.

Nuclear researcher and master teacher, Ford covers everything from quarks, quantum jumps, and what causes stars to shine, to practical applications ranging from lasers and superconductors to light-emitting diodes. Ford‚e(tm)s lively answers are enriched by Paul Hewitt's drawings, numerous photos of physicists, and anecdotes, many from Ford‚e(tm)s own experience. Organized for cover-to-cover reading, 101 Quantum Questions also is great for browsing.

Some books focus on a single subject such as the standard model of particles, or string theory, or fusion energy. This book touches all those topics and more, showing us that disparate natural phenomena, as well as a host of manmade inventions, can be understood in terms of a few key ideas. Yet Ford does not give us simplistic explanations. He assumes a serious reader wanting to gain real understanding of the essentials of quantum physics.

Ken Ford's other books include The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone (Harvard 2004), which Esquire magazine recommended as the best way to gain an understanding of quantum physics. Ford's new book, a sequel to the earlier one, makes the quantum world even more accessible.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
I The Subatomic World
3
II Digging Deeper
18
III The Small and the Swift
34
IV Quantum Lumps and Quantum Jumps
50
V Atoms and Nuclei
70
VI And More about Nuclei
85
VII Particles
101
XI Waves and Particles
173
XII Waves and Probability
189
XIII Quantum Physics and Technology
207
XIV Quantum Physics at Every Scale
228
XV Frontiers and Puzzles
244
Appendix A
265
Appendix B
271
Acknowledgments
275

VIII And More Particles
118
IX Interactions
137
X Constancy during Change
154

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About the author (2011)

Ford, retired director of the American Institute of Physics.

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