“No doubt about it, the quantum world is the weirdest place known to the human mind. With unexcelled clarity and humor, Lederman and Hill provide the best guide to this bizarre place I've ever seen.”
—James Trefil, Clarence J Robinson Professor of Physics, George Mason University,
and coauthor of Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
"Lederman and Hill have provided a great gift to poets and all other mortals in search of an accessible yet authoritative guide to the mysterious and weird world of quantum physics. Your head will still spin, but your feetl will be on solid ground."
—Tom Siegfried, Editor in Chief of Science News
“Quantum Physics for Poets is like sitting down to dinner with two very enthusiastic, amusing, and down to earth physicists who can’t wait to tell you about the strange ways of electrons that are so puzzling that Einstein, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg devoted their lives to sorting out what these strange creatures do. They tell you about baseballs knocked out of the park and water waves hitting boats; they bring up black holes and string theory, an occasional transistor and a bit of chemistry...all while scribbling little pictures on the table cloth and even (as the title promises) reciting poetry. Lederman and Hill stay with you all the way through—and by the time dessert rolls around, quantum cryptography actually sounds pretty enticing."
—Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino, University Professor, Harvard University
The Times Literary Supplement called their previous book, Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe: “[A] tour de force of physics made simple.”
Quantum theory is the bedrock of contemporary physics and the basis of understanding matter in its tiniest dimensions and the vast universe as a whole. But for many, the theory remains an impenetrable enigma.
Nobel Prize laureate Leon M. Lederman and Fermi lab theoretical physicist Christopher T. Hill seek to remedy this situation by both drawing on their scientific expertise and their talent for communicating science to the general reader. In this lucid, informative book, designed for the curious, they make the seemingly daunting subject of quantum physics accessible, appealing, and exciting.
Their story is partly historical, covering the many “Eureka” moments when great scientists—Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and others—struggled to come to grips with the bizarre realities that quantum research revealed. Although their findings were indisputably proven in experiments, they were so strange and counterintuitive that Einstein refused to accept quantum theory, despite its great success.
The authors explain the many strange and even eerie aspects of quantum reality at the subatomic level, from “particles” that can be many places simultaneously and sometimes act more like waves, to the effect that a human can have on their movements by just observing them!
Finally, Drs. Lederman and Hill delve into quantum physics’ latest and perhaps most breathtaking offshoots—field theory and string theory. The intricacies and ramifications of these two theories will give the reader much to ponder. In addition, the authors describe the diverse applications of quantum theory in its almost countless forms of modern technology throughout the world.
Using eloquent analogies and illustrative examples, Quantum Physics for Poets render even the most profound reaches of quantum theory understandable and something for us all to savor.
FURTHER PRAISE FOR QUANTUM PHYSICS FOR POETS
"Lederman and Hill, two very well-known physicists, have written in a prose that speaks to the poet in all of us. A delightful and illuminating guide through the mysteries of the quantum world."
—Gino Segré, department of physics and astronomy, University of Pennsylvania,
and author of Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics
"Niels Bohr famously said that anyone who can think about quantum mechanics without getting giddy doesn't understand the first thing about it. This book changes all that. The wit and style will make you giddy, and you will understand a lot!"
—Professor Rocky Kolb, department of astronomy and astrophysics, University of Chicago
"Two well-known experts on quantum mechanics—Hill and Lederman—have done a wonderful job in communicating its essence and logical content to a general audience."
—Professor Emmanuel Paschos, Dortmund University, Germany,
author of The Schemata of the Stars
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Leon M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate, is the Resident Scholar for the Great Minds Program of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Director Emeritus of the Fermi National Accelerator laboratory, the Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the author of the highly acclaimed The God Particle, the editor of Portraits of Great American Scientists, and a contributor to Science Literacy for the Twenty-First Century. Dr. Lederman and Dr. Christopher T. Hill are the coauthors of Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe and Quantum Physics for Poets
Christopher T. Hill, PhD, is chairman of the Department of Theoretical Physics and a theoretical physicist (Scientist III) at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.