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The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics Paperback – February 28, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0521667807 ISBN-10: 0521667801

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521667801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521667807
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #899,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...gives a clear account of Feynman's approach. At times this is quite compelling....If you are looking for an original account of Feynman's approach, I recommend this book." Nature

"Strange World is well-written, engaging, pared-down, precise and accurate on technical matters; it conveys the author's enthusiasm for the subject well, and is a product of careful thought and successful pedagogy." American Journal of Physics

Book Description

Quantum mechanics appears strange and unfamiliar. However, for those who open their minds to the way in which nature really behaves - instead of clinging to preconceptions of how nature 'ought' to behave - the rules governing the domain of the very small are consistent, logical, and even delightful. This exceptionally accessible, accurate and non-technical account contains thought-provoking problems and suggestions for further reading. Suitable for use as a course text, it enables students to develop a genuine understanding of this subject. It will also appeal to general readers seeking intellectual adventure.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Duwayne Anderson on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Imagine being raised all your life in an environment without gravity and then suddenly finding yourself on a planet with a strong gravitational field. Things would be really strange. Your intuition would be confused and confounded. Take the simple act of tossing a ball, for example. Your intuition tells you that the ball will go straight, but in this strange world the ball curves. To toss the ball to someone you must toss it up, so that it arcs over. Otherwise, if you toss it straight (like your intuition tells you to) it curves downward and hits the ground.
Strangeness, obviously, depends on our sense of intuition, and our sense of intuition depends upon the rules of engagement in the world in which we live. Most of us live in a world dominated by classical physics where objects have a definite position, velocity, mass, energy, etc. It is because of our intimate personal experience with this classical world that non-classical environments like the very fast and the very tiny seem counter intuitive.
Styer's book aims to help the reader understand the experiences of the quantum world. Though real quantum intuition cannot come from a book, Styer helps the reader gain a measure of intuition regarding what happens at the quantum level. Styer's book is one of the best I've seen for explaining quantum mechanics in a rigorously qualitative manner that's understandable by virtually anyone with the intellectual discipline to learn new ideas. [The other book I recommend in this area, and from which Styer uses as a frequent reference, is "QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter," by Richard Feynman. For someone just starting out in his or her study of quantum mechanics, I recommend Feynman's book followed by Styer's.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This little book explains the EPR-Paradox in perhaps the clearest presentation I have ever seen! It's a fun read, too... It makes a good companion to Feynman's "QED". I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor J. Tennery on November 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THIS SUBJECT IS CHALLENGING FOR ALMOST ALL OF US - THIS LITTLE BOOK HELPED ME A LOT IN UNDERSTANDING QUANTUM MECHANICS EVEN THOUGH I HAVE HAD MORE THAN ONE GRADUATE LEVEL COURSE IN THIS SUBJECT - BOOK WAS LIKE NEW AND ARRIVED PROMPTLY.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was somewhat disappointed with this book; anyone thinking of buying it should realize it seems to be an almost verbatim transcription of lectures for undergraduates and thus has a great deal of extra talkativeness as well as student problems that pad out the information. Really nothing too philosophical or even novel is presented here that hasn't been written well or better in the past at greater length. It's true he spends a great deal of time discussing the E-P-R paradox and the Aspect experiment but the 'metaphysical' so to speak consequences, or even just the weirdness resulting from nonlocal behavior, are just barely discussed.
In short, he present some basic quantum strangness, i.e., nonlocality and wave-particle duality, through simplistic experiments, but avoids the implications completely. Anyone with preexisting knowledge of quantum mechanics will find this very disappointing, since it's 'old hat.' Most disappointing of all is the omission of further discussion of the popular superstring or M-theory; it is only mentioned in passing very briefly.
So if you're not familiar at all with the strange world of quantum mechanics, this may be of interest, although you'll feel a little let down that the truly weird implications are not further elaborated on [e.g. the many worlds interpretation].
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ripandelli on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as good as recommended by a fellow Professor in his DVD
on Quantum Mechanics.
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