Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
For most people, quantum theory is a byword for mysterious, impenetrable science. And yet for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this magisterial book, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly-written history of this fundamental scientific revolution, and the divisive debate at its core. Quantum theory looks at the very building blocks of our world, the particles and processes without which it could not exist. Yet for 60 years most physicists believed that quantum theory denied the very existence of reality itself. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar shows how the golden age of physics ignited the greatest intellectual debate of the twentieth century. Quantum theory is weird.In 1905, Albert Einstein suggested that light was a particle, not a wave, defying a century of experiments. Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and Erwin Schrodinger's famous dead-and-alive cat are similarly strange. As Niels Bohr said, if you weren't shocked by quantum theory, you didn't really understand it. While "Quantum" sets the science in the context of the great upheavals of the modern age, Kumar's centrepiece is the conflict between Einstein and Bohr over the nature of reality and the soul of science. 'Bohr brainwashed a whole generation of physicists into believing that the problem had been solved', lamented the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann. But in "Quantum", Kumar brings Einstein back to the centre of the quantum debate. "Quantum" is the essential read for anyone fascinated by this complex and thrilling story and by the band of brilliant men at its heart.
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Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
Limited preview - 2010
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
Limited preview - 2008
AHQP interview alpha particles Arnold Sommerfeld believed Bell's Bell's inequality Berlin blackbody radiation Bohm Bohr's Born Broglie classical physics Compton Copenhagen interpretation CPAE Dirac discovered Einstein wrote electromagnetic elements emitted energy levels equation experimental Folsing frequency German Gottingen Goudsmit Heisenberg 1971 hydrogen atom idea institute knew later lecture Letter from Bohr Letter from Einstein light light-quanta Lorentz mathematical matrix mechanics Max Born measurement Mehra and Rechenberg Mileva momentum Munich Niels Bohr Nobel Prize November nucleus number of electrons observed October oscillators Pais paper Paul Ehrenfest periodic table photon physicists Planck position possible predicted problem published quantised quantum atom quantum mechanics quantum number quantum physics quantum theory quoted radioactive reality Rechenberg 1982 Rutherford Schrodinger Schrodinger's slit Solvay conference Sommerfeld spectral lines spin student theoretical physics thought experiment tion told Uhlenbeck uncertainty principle University wave function wave mechanics wave-particle duality wavelength Werner Heisenberg Wien's X-rays Zurich