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Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics Paperback – February 20, 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (February 20, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385235690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385235693
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This clearly explained layman's introduction to quantum physics is an accessible excursion into metaphysics and the meaning of reality. Herbert exposes the quantum world and the scientific and philosophical controversy about its interpretation.

From the Inside Flap

This clearly explained layman's introduction to quantum physics is an accessible excursion into metaphysics and the meaning of reality.  Herbert exposes the quantum world and the scientific and philosophical controversy about its interpretation.

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Customer Reviews

This is a book that deals with the interpretation of Quantum Physics.
P. J. Mazumdar Dr
I will have more to say about this later, along with recommendations of the books that I think should be read in order to get the most out of this current book.
Harold M.
Don't worry, this book does a superb job of explaining the subject in terms a layman can understand.
James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Harold M. TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book, but with the reservation that the book should only be considered as an adjunct to other books on the subject of the meaning of quantum theory. I will have more to say about this later, along with recommendations of the books that I think should be read in order to get the most out of this current book.

This book discusses the implications of quantum theory and why they have led prominent physicists to believe that there may not be any deep reality, or that reality only exists when an intelligent observer is looking, or that all things are interrelated in a manner that allows "action at a distance" to travel beyond the speed of light (actually instantaneously), or that there are many parallel worlds continuously being created. All of these ideas appear to be straight out of science fiction, but they are in actuality concepts developed by some of the most renowned physicists of the 20th century. Read this book to see why this "science fiction" may indeed be science fact. The book has an overview of quantum theory, but this overview is, in my opinion, presented much more clearly in other books (to be discussed). The ideas of quantum reality are, however, presented in a more organized and focused manner than in other books devoted to this subject. I especially enjoyed the discussion of the uncertainty principal based on the wave equation as opposed to that of matrix mechanics, which I was already familiar with.

I almost did not read this book because of the way that it is presented. I looked it over several times before buying it. I had the following concerns, discussed below, which were largely unwarranted. I mention them here because the readers of this review may have similar concerns.
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108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By David Gottner on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was the easiest of all of the many popularizaitons of quantum theory for me to understand. Nick presents the material clearly, yet without "dumbing down" the physics.
He shows how the strangeness of the quantum world is implicit in the ordinary experiments of physicists. (what he calls the "Cinderalla Effect.") The best thing about this book is that the main thrust of the book is speculation on the nature of deep reality, without it being a "New Age" treatment like the "Tao of Physics" and other books. Yes, reality may be affected by consciousness, he says, but only in certain contexts and only for dynamic attributes of particles.
The book ends with a discussion with Bell's theorem that reality itself is nonlocal (unmediated, unmitigated, and immediate action-at-a-distance forces acting upon objects.) He explains that this nonlocality exists even if quantum theory eventually turns out to be false.
The quantum world is strange and mysterious enough without "New Age" explanations added unto it, as you will discover when you read this book.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Erler on January 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is, without a doubt, one of the best nontechnical physics books I have read. As a kid in high school, this book was my first introduction to the mysterious world of quantum physics. I was amazed that, despite my technical illiteracy, Herbert gave me both insight into the inner mathematical workings of quantum mechanics, and into the deeply troubling conceptual problems that this radical theory forces upon us. Even today, as a graduate student in theoretical physics, I have a more profound appreciation for quantum mysteries than any of my classmates, simply because I read this book in highschool. I would recommend this book for the layperson and the quantum feild theorist alike!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your aiming to simply understand as much as possible about quantum theory by reading one popular science book, then look no further. This book deals with all important theories and experiments in a clear way, without omitting the more difficult stuff. I have also read "taking the quantum leap" by Fred Alan Wolf but find it incredibly unclear because of its reluctance to show real physics. Talking about quantum physics without getting into too much detail for the coffee table reader makes it fragmented and obscure. Wolf favors vague talks of wonders over the step by step explanation of experiments that lead you to the heart of the problem. Herbert made me understand quantum reality as much as possible by using clear text with clear diagrams, explaining enough physical detail for me to appreciate the wonders of quantum reality. And yes... I'm still wondering. Enjoy!
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By James on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
"For if quantumstuff is all there is and you don't understand quantumstuff, your ignorance is complete." pg. 40
This book delves into the realm of accuracy in certainty and certainty in randomness and beyond! Afraid of math? Don't worry, this book does a superb job of explaining the subject in terms a layman can understand. Is probability an optimists way of expressing uncertainty, or is uncertainty really random, or is random just a term to conceal our ignorance? You'll get the answer. Very weird!
It explains very succinctly the two most important waveforms in science, sine waves and spherical harmonics. Thought color was an inate attribute? Wrong! Learn the 5-steps to take to find a attribute of a quon using quantum theory! You'll think you're Steven Hawkings after reading this great book! Now I can say with confidence that DNA is to genetic code what a waveform attribute is to cosmic code! What the hell did I just say? You'll know after reading this book! Become a genius (or at least look like one) in a week!
Even if you don't like scienctific "stuff", you'll love this book just for its weirdness! You'll see why possibility squared equals probability! heh heh... You'll also find out if a tree really makes a noise if it falls in a forest when you're not there! :)
Wondering about the finer aspects of the photoelectric effect? It's in here. Why does a camera lens look purplish? It's in here too! What is reality? ... :) If you thought Bell's Theorem was weird, you haven't seen nothin' yet! There is nothing as weird as quantum theory. You won't want to believe it, but "quantum theory boldly exposes itself to potential fasification on a thousand diffent fronts. Its record is impressive: quantum theory passes EVERY test we [physicists and philosphers alike] can devise. After over 60 years of play, this theory is still batting a thousand." pg. 94
Buy this book and enjoy! That is... if the book is real!
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