Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences Without it, we d have no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering In Search of Schrodinger s Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction John Gribbin takes us step by step into an evenbizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, super conductors and life itself And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger s Cat a search for quantum reality as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today quantum physics In Search of Schrodinger s Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum an essential element in understanding today s world.

5 thoughts on “In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat: Updated Edition

  1. TC TC says:

    This is a fantastic book if one is just attempting, for the first time, to come to terms with the puzzling yet fascinating world of quantum theory What makes it different from most other books I read on the subject is the way in which Gribbin tries to explain one phenomenon that, quite often, can be felt as unexplainable At times, it can still feel overwhelming to those averse to maths, but you can jump over those moments as they will not necessarily be essential for what the book does if you re not very familiar with the subject, In Search of Schrodinger s Cat will launch you into a magical tale that is a part of our reality as much as anything else, even if you don t actually experience it on a daily basis And by doing that, it might ultimately also reshape your own view of the world and yourself Highly recommended.

  2. P. G. Harris P. G. Harris says:

    The title of this book probably highlights its greatest weakness Updated Edition This is a history explanation of quantum physics written in the mid 1980s with the subsequent 30 years tacked on at the end There are recent works which form a coherent whole, for example Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw s Quantum Universe.The other thing to say is that John Gribbin sets out to do something virtually impossible Given that the most famous quantum physicist if the mid 20th century, Richard Feynman said If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don t understand quantum mechanics, to write a popular science book on the subject is optimistic to say the least.Any writer seeking to make the subject accessible to the lay reader must travel along the border between explanatory and comprehensibility To put it another way, by providing a full explanation, s he run the risk if tunnelling through the border into the region where the reader is lost and confused For me Gribbin is a little over conservative, not providing enough explanation For example, while describing one of the early signs of the need for quantum mechanics, the black body problem he describes what the problem was that classical physics predicted an infinite amount of energy but not why classical physics made this prediction Linked to this , the early chapters are about the people involved than the developing theory That it is a very valid story to tell, but Gribbin almost sits in an indeterminate state between the people and the physics If you want to read the story through the people, could I recommend Manjit Kumar s excellent Quantum Einstein, Bohr..While I have some criticisms of this book, overall it remains an excellent introduction to an incomprehensible subject While referring to Schrodinger s cat makes for an arresting title, Gribbin seems to agree with another of Feynman s assertions that the double slit experiment is the absolute heart of quantum physics.Having, in previous readings on quantum physics, been troubled by the use of classical terms e.g spin to label features of the quantum realm, I was rather taken by Gribbin s suggestion that use of the language of Carroll s Jabberwocky would be equally valid.This book also gives one of the clearest explanations of the differences between the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics and the many worlds version In an incredibly simplistic nutshell, the former suggests that the universe sits on a sea of probability waves which collapse to certainty when observed, while the latter postulates that the universe splits every time a quantum decision is taken.The end of the book, which contains sections referring to developments since the mid 80s, is both tantalising and returns to the main weakness I wanted to know about quantum computing, or about why the apparent study of the massive, cosmology, can be viewed as the forefront of the study of the subatomic quantum domain.To finish, if you read this book, you should be able to follow this marvellous joke.Schrodinger and Heisenberg are stopped by a traffic cop.Police Officer Do you know how fast you were travelling sir Heisenberg No, officerPO 90 mph, sirH Great, now we re lostPO and did you know you have a dead cat in the bootSchrodinger We do now.

  3. Mohammed Kouta Mohammed Kouta says:

    I purchased and read this book before embarking on a physics degree At the time I found it boring, and a drag to read, and came out of the other end quite nonplussed about quantum physics.Having now studied quantum physics I feel in a position to assess to what extent this piece of popular science does a good job of communicating modern physics in simple English Now there is a limitation, which is that I never fully figured out and we certainly weren t taught the precise rational that led from the experiments of the early 20th century to the mathematical formalism used to describe physics at the quantum scale it seems even the field leader employed some guesswork , however I do feel I understood that formalism quite well.The formalism I m talking about is called the Dirac formalism, and constitutes a very elegant way of describing quantum particles Now, my opinion is, that it s such an abstract formalism that you really can t de mathsify it All of quantum physics is just really abstract The author uses the word unintuitive, which really frustrates me heck, even our lecturers used it If you explained it properly it wouldn t feel unintuitive The right word is abstract Anyway, my point is, if you want to learn about quantum physics, the best way of doing it is just to learn it the mathsy way.If you are t convinced, bear in mind is that theoretical physics is an extremely complicated subject In a subject such as history, for example, which is a huge subject, there is a lot of breadth, but not much depth It s easy for a non expert to dive into any period of history they choose there aren t any significant preliminaries In theoretical physics, there is very little breadth, but abyssal depth To properly understand modern developments in quantum theory, you need to start at the very top, and study your way through hundreds of years of developments in maths and physics This is what makes physics such a tough subject.So it s very audacious indeed for Mr Gribbin to come along and try and condense hundreds of years of cumulative sequential study into a 350 page qualitative piece of popular science, and to be honest, I don t feel he has succeeded For a good example of a popular science book, check out The Epigenetics Revolution.

  4. BlueTwin BlueTwin says:

    What a great book does justice to the great minds involved in the transition from classical theory to quantum mechanics and explains the basics for those without the terrific intellect of the book s subjects I did have to keep flipping back to re read a couple of sections, but it s accessible, well written, and will come out again in the winter for a re read.

  5. Ranbow Ranbow says:

    When the parcel arrived but before I was able to open it what I hoped would be a book was in a super positional quantum state or so I thought but when I opened the box my anxiety collapsed and I realised that I had hit the probability jackpot There was my book safe and sound in a shared universe created by me, the vendor and the postman Phew I observed however that the empty box had itself collapsed into particles of recycling material.