- Series: Princeton Science Library
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691023883
- ISBN-13: 978-0691023885
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Quantum World (Princeton Science Library) Reprint Edition
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"[Polkinghorne] offers much insight in this thoroughly delightful little book into the nature of the conceptual problems at the heart of the twentieth century's most successful theory. . . . I wholeheartedly recommend The Quantum World."--Tony Hey, New Scientist
"A delightful book, written at a popular level but without any misleading over-simplification."--Roger Penrose, The Times Higher Education Supplement
"The author's life as well as his oeuvre, especially this lovely little book, bear testimony to the fact that . . . science and nature can coexist in harmonious complementarity."--Abraham Pais, Nature
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by a student of Dirac. Worth reading for those not keen on the math.
Polkinghorne learned quantum theory "straight from the horses mouth, so to speak", which is to say from Paul Dirac, and if you only read a few books on quantum mechanics, this should be one of them. (I will go so far as to say if you only read one it should be this one, but if the reader has no previous foundation in the topic, this volume may be rather tough to digest.) The explanation of the superposition principle is presented with economy and as much clarity as can be brought to such an esotericism. Even if you've no previous knowledge of quantum superpositioning, Polkinghorne will equip you to startle your classically minded friends with Schrödinger's fabled dead/alive cat paradox.
The discussion of the problems with each of the interpretations that have been suggested for quantum theory is very good, as direct and studied as any you will likely find...
Like most mathematical physicists, John Polkinghorne is rapt with the deep mystery at the interface of quantum mechanics and the classical world of Newton and Einstein. Like Feynman, he is more fascinated by what we don't know about the world than impressed with what we, in some sense, do "know." He brings great clarity and honesty to the nature of what we do 'know'...
Conclusions: The more mathematically gifted will want to utilize the appendix but little will be lost to the reader who does not. Here is a soberly studied offering that questions, entertains, and educates in the best tradition of Gamow, Feynman, and Penrose. This outstanding book should be in the library of every science reader, and has this reader's highest recommendation.