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Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science's Most Puzzling Discovery Paperback


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Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science's Most Puzzling Discovery + Introducing Relativity: A Graphic Guide + Introducing Logic: A Graphic Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books; Fourth Edition edition (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840468505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840468502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J.P. McEvoy is a former research scientist and now a science journalist. Oscar Zarate is a highly acclaimed graphic artist who has illustrated many Introducing titles. His prize-winning graphic novel A Small Killing is known throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I really enjoyed this book and I think I learned a lot.
MC Complete
Written as a graphic novel, this emphasizes the history and very broad concepts of physics from classical mechanics to quantum theory.
Emily Blunt
Quantum theory is no easy subject, and this animated book makes it very understandable and enjoyable.
Dallin Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Larry Goeller on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I went through the ordeal of getting a PhD in Physics many years ago; like most students of physics, I spent a lot of time diagonalizing Hamiltonians and finding eigenvalues, and not as much time as I would have liked studying the big picture. Thus, I got a lot out of this book. It helped me "connect the dots" of the islands of knowledge I have of the more general theory. I very much like the historical approach this book takes; the history of quantum mechanics really is a great story. It is always nice to hear that the guys that invented this stuff had trouble understanding it too.
I don't know how much of what I got out of this book is due to the ten years (!) I spent in college and grad school struggling with these concepts. I think a book like this should be required reading for all physics majors and graduate students. It is my hope that all interested readers would get as much enjoyment out of this book as I did, but it may be that there is just too much pre-supposed knowledge for this to be the case. All I can say is, this is about as clear as quantum mechanics gets.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
The "Introducing" and "Beginners" series of texts in the last decade, has paved the way for readers to understand, at least on a fundamental level, highly complex schools of thought on a wide variety of subjects. From Analytical philosophy to Semiotics and Modernism to Post Modernism, readers curious about these subjects now have the opportunity to at least grasp basic tenets and general theories, enabling a solid foundation or spring board to venture into further study. Unfortunately for some, these texts appear infantile, at least in appearance, because they are illustrated in a comic book style, peppered with dubious humour, and so basic, that those `expert' in these subjects believe, at least on a surface level, that they do more harm than good. In other words, this is an effort at mere trivialization of a known serious subject. In my view, this is no more than intellectual snobbery, as these books have indeed paved the way for students interested in complex subjects to grasp their basic tenets and graduate to specific and more sophisticated study.

For those not acquainted with Quantum Theory, this text is a must for those interested in further study. It begins with a basic explanation of classic physics and gently brings the reader forward in the subjects fascinating evolution to present day.

We are introduced to the theories of Max Planck and his Pre-Atomic Model of Matter. Albert Einstein's theories are explained and expanded upon, along with the "Quantum Hero" of quantum theory, Neils Bohr. We are guided through the theories of these physics giants, Heisenberg, Schrödinger and Wolfgang Pauli with his Anomalous Zeeman Effect, Electron Spin and the Exclusion Principle. These titles seem daunting, but author, J.P.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I already had the Introducing Logic book, which I thought was excellent, so I thought I'd try this one too in the series. I certainly never thought I'd see a book on quantum physics that was as good as this one done in such a cartoon-like style. I really liked the Introducting Logic book, and I wasn't disappointed with this one either. It presents the many strange and even paradoxical phenomena of quantum physics in a clear and concise way, and the illustrations are a fun and amusing way of keeping the reader's attention while helping to further the reader's understanding of the concepts. Even presented in such an engaging way, however, they're still not easy. Quantum physics is just not very intuitive and you just have to get used to that fact, but this book will give you a basic understanding of the area without too much cognitive anguish and serious brain strain.
After reading this book, if you're interested in further material, the late, great Richard Feynman's book, QED, is still the best introduction for the non-specialist. It contains almost no math and Feynman uses mainly spatial concepts to illustrate and explain quantum electrodynamics in a less mathematical, more intuitive way with his usual wit, enthusiasm, and style. The concepts are explained clearly and concisely in a way that is accessible to the layman and non-physicist. After reading this book, if you're interested in a more mathematical treatment, I would recommend the R.I.G. Hughes book, The Structure and Interpretation of Quantum Theory. It uses a little calculus, but mostly sticks to presenting the mathematics of quantum linear algebra, vector spaces, tensors, and matrix theory as developed by David Hilbert specifically for use in quantum mechanics. It's much more technical than Feynman's book but will give you a much better understanding of quantum mechanics in terms of the mathematical theory.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Leo King on June 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
The explanations in this book assume that the reader already knows the terminology, understands the significance of the various functions that are tossed out without explanation, and realizes how each theoretical step is related to the next. Accordingly, almost no time is spent explaining these things. Instead, you get some interesting trivia about the lives of each of the important players in the development of Quantum Theory, along with some very strange stylistic flourishes and frequent asides from the author.

There are examples on every page, but take for isntance the bottom of p. 42, where we learn that Planck's constant is 0.000000000000000000000000006626. The author then informs us that if this were zero, "we would never even be able to sit in front of a fire! In fact, the whole universe would be different. Be thankful for the little things in life!" End of page, and on to the next subject. Maybe that helped someone. But it didn't help me.

Nor was I helped by the series of pages wherein a young Albert Einstein assumes a very condescending an paternalistic tone to explain to his visibly-confused wife the intricacies of his new theory. I realize the author is only attempting to help us follow the explanation when he peppers each of Einstein's speech bubbles with "Very good, Mileva" and "But my dear Mileva", finally ending with "Good idea, Liebchen..." (after she suggested that yes, he should publish it) "...I'm so pleased when you help me with my work." Einstein then suggests a title and his wife helpfully responds with "Sounds good!" So the segment ends, and by this time I'm feeling fairly disturbed by the Einstein family's household politics, but I still don't understand any of the physics he was supposed to be explaining.
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