The uncertainty in this delightful book refers to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, an idea first postulated in 1927 by physicist Werner Heisenberg in his attempt to make sense out of the developing field of quantum mechanics. As Lindley so well explains it, the concept of uncertainty shook the philosophical underpinnings of science. It was Heisenberg's work that, to a great extent, kept Einstein from accepting quantum mechanics as a full explanation for physical reality. Similarly, it was the Uncertainty Principle that demonstrated the limits of scientific investigation: if Heisenberg is correct there are some aspects of the physical universe that are to remain beyond the reach of scientists. As he has done expertly in books like Boltzmann's Atom, Lindley brings to life a critical period in the history of science, explaining complex issues to the general reader, presenting the major players in an engaging fashion, delving into the process of scientific discovery and discussing the interaction between science and society. Thus, Lindley presents a very good chapter dissecting historian of science Paul Forman's iconic, if terribly flawed, analysis of the same time period. (Feb. 20)
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“Brilliantly captures the personalities and the science surrounding the most revolutionary principle in modern physics. This book is . . . truly thrilling.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe “Charmingly written and a delight to read. . . . Highlights the human element of science.”—The Economist “Provides a useful précis of the mind-blowing progress of physics in the early 20th century.” —The New York Times“Far and away the best popular account of the development of quantum mechanics I have encountered.”—Michael D. Gordin, American ScientistSee all Editorial Reviews
I don't literally hate this book and series. But it and they are for people with a high school education at most, obviously not for physics or mathematics Ph.D. students. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Doug J.
An amazing description of an more amazing time in the history of modern science. These men fought for the heart of Quantum Physics.Published 3 months ago by Juan Carlos Catala
Marvelous background relating the concepts of quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, the theory of relativity, and Newton's idea of absolute space and time.Published 4 months ago by John T. Jackson
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle has entered popular culture. References to it in the mass media nowadays may be even more frequent than references to Einstein's equation for... Read morePublished 7 months ago by R. M. Peterson
This is a brilliant book. Wonderfully written, the author is a master of both the history and substance of the great revolution in physics which lead to Quantum Mechanics. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Preston Picus
A page turner! Lindley's grasp of the lives of the quantum pioneers is riveting. A the same time his ability to describe the hard physics is masterful. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Brian Wachter
Dissappointing. It is quite well-written, and the descriptions of the main personas, and the social and cultural setting, is quite good. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Quotidian