QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter Later Printing Edition
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Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the nonscientist. QED--the edited version of four lectures on quantum electrodynamics that Feynman gave to the general public at UCLA as part of the Alix G. Mautner Memorial Lecture series--is perhaps the best example of his ability to communicate both the substance and the spirit of science to the layperson.
The focus, as the title suggests, is quantum electrodynamics (QED), the part of the quantum theory of fields that describes the interactions of the quanta of the electromagnetic field-light, X rays, gamma rays--with matter and those of charged particles with one another. By extending the formalism developed by Dirac in 1933, which related quantum and classical descriptions of the motion of particles, Feynman revolutionized the quantum mechanical understanding of the nature of particles and waves. And, by incorporating his own readily visualizable formulation of quantum mechanics, Feynman created a diagrammatic version of QED that made calculations much simpler and also provided visual insights into the mechanisms of quantum electrodynamic processes.
In this book, using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman successfully provides a definitive introduction to QED for a lay readership without any distortion of the basic science. Characterized by Feynman's famously original clarity and humor, this popular book on QED has not been equaled since its publication.
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"Feynman's lectures must have been marvelous and they have been turned into an equally entrancing book, a vivid introduction to QED which is leavened and enlivened by his wit. Anyone with a curiosity about physics today should buy it, not only to get to grips with the deepest meaning of quantum theory but to possess a slice of history."---Pedro Waloschek, Nature
- Publisher : Princeton University Press; Later Printing edition (October 1, 1988)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691024170
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691024172
- Lexile measure : 1270L
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #403,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Also, this is not a book for a layperson, even with its lack of equations, the knowledge it presumes is far beyond a layperson, layperson here means someone with a doctorate in some other branch of physics. I have no idea why a genuine layperson should be interested in this book. I have an undergraduate background in math and physics and a doctorate in molecular biology, have done work involving biophysics using FRET to measure the motion of proteins interacting. The level of this discussion was not for a layperson.
The only reason I don't give this book 5 stars is because the author committed a massive science flaw: He said, "There are no gears or pullies inside these things. Don't even look for them." Imagine that! A scientist telling you to do no more research for further answers! That cost him a full star in my review.
Put this book on the top 10 reading list of all time!
When you're done, search for information about faster than light transmission, quantum entanglement, and the real science of teleportation.
Also, required reading: Alber Einstein's "Relativity, the Special and the General Theory" (or is it the General and the Special Theory?). You can't read one without the other. In my opinion, they make a complete set.