- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (August 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780199753819
- ISBN-13: 978-0199753819
- ASIN: 0199753814
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 409 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness 2nd Edition
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"A remarkable and readable presentation."
--Charles Townes, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
"This book is unique.EL The clearest expositions I have ever seen."
--George Greenstein, Professor of Astronomy, Amherst College
"An immensely important and exciting book."
--Raymond Chester Russ, editor of Journal of Mind and Behavior
"Exposes the hidden skeleton in the physicist's closet."
--Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality
About the Author
Bruce Rosenblum is currently Professor of Physics, emeritus, at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has also consulted extensively for government and industry on technical and policy issues. His research has moved from molecular physics to condensed matter physics, and, after a foray into biophysics, has focused on fundamental issues in quantum mechanics.
Fred Kuttner is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He devotes most of his time to teaching physics after a career in industry, including two technology startups, and a second career in academic administration. His research interests have included the low temperature propoerties o solids and the thermal properties of magnets. For the last several years he has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics and the implications of the quantum theory.
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I was familiar with the "Schrodinger's cat" thought experiment. However, once again, While I understood that the act of observing the cat determined whether the cat was alive or dead," it had not been driven home to me that the act of observing also created the cat's history of "aliveness or deadness" at the same time.
The authors are most careful to avoid suggesting conclusions to be drawn from the "weirdness" of quantum mechanics and stay close to experimental results and standard physics when examining quantum mechanics. They present the various interpretations of quantum mechanics so the reader is exposed to the range of physicists' explanations of the experimental findings. But, as Richard Feynman said (pg. 87), "We cannot make the mystery go away by 'explaining' how it works." Quantum weirdness will speak for itself.
If you think that science is all cold fact and no mystery, then this book will expand your understanding. It expanded mine. For this reason, I recommend the book highly.
It is rare for anyone with a profound knowledge and expertise in a complex subject matter to be able to communicate that effectively to lay people, but Drs. Rosenblum and Kattner have written a masterpiece of mass communication. True genius lies in the ability to make the complex simple and the esoteric relevant. These two highly-regarded Physics professors have demonstrated true genius as communicators of their science.
The book is interesting, challenging at times, and actually entertaining (if you are inclined to read "sciency" stuff). The redundancy sometimes bothered me, personally, but I think it is not over-done for general consumption. Some of the concepts are so counter-intuitive that the redundancy is likely therapeutic for most readers. "Repetition is the mother of learning."
A few of the chapters are probably quite good as stand-alone essays on their specific topics. The chapter on real-world applications of quantum technology is an excellent example, as are the theoretical critiques of various cosmologies arising from quantum mechanics.