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By Mark Davey on 06-03-10
A nice mix of theory and history.
Entanglement has vexed some of the greatest minds of the 20th century and this is what I loved about this book. Books on physics (other than text books) tend to either be histories focused on an individual or books focus on a subject matter. I really enjoyed how the author unraveled the subject over time through the individuals making the discoveries creating a interesting timeline. It did start a little slow but got very intersting later.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Michael on 02-14-10
This book started at bit slowly and got better as it went. I wonder if the writing started at the middle and the first few chapters were added on later. Perhaps the reports of conversations from direct interviews are just much more compelling than the conversations recreated from letters and notes. I nearly gave up after the first couple of hours, but then it started getting better, and it continued getting better for hour after hour, ending very strong. This is well worth listening to. The tone and level seems great for a general audience and is still interesting for those who already know some of the physics and history.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful
By Knight Rain on 09-17-10
A Tangle of Creative Insight
Louisa Gilder has written a book on the story of the discovery in physics that we live in a mysteriously entangled world... . The idea that has profound implications in all fields of study but importantly... including that taboo realm to 20th century science: the mind/spirit/material question that has enthralled humanity for millennia.
The author does not delve into the implications and throws some tonal cold water here and there on the idea... but still for me it was always part of the narrative.
In fact her book is about how very interesting personalities gradually over decades, faced the implications of the extra light speed "Entanglement" of particles that seemed to be inferred in the equations of Quantum Physics and how as time went on... John Bell and others described and suggested experiments to confirm what physics, by the authors story seemed to be willfully ignoring. He was met with resistance by some who didn't like the implications and intrigue by younger experimental physicists.
But this book is as much about the personalities behind the storied history of physics in the 20th century. Their interactions and creative competition, egos and interpersonal rivalries, playful even deeply affectionate regard are very well crafted.
Although their is some creative license that the author admits first thing to pull together from extensive reading of personal letters etc. how conversations very likely would have developed when no one was there but these second sources give a detailed if not completely quoted outline of what was indeed said.
In fact this is the strong point of the book... her familiarity with the issues at hand... that is the physics and the personalities involved and their often peculiar interactions on the historical stage... drawn together with conversations that may or may not have happened as written. One senses that her efforts are close to the truth and that she has little decernable prejudice, funny and wise, even touching.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Marguerite on 02-11-11
Insightful and fulfilling
I only get to listen to an audio book whilst walking the dog. I found the book so fascinating and insightful that I was finding reasons to walk the dog more often. I enjoy leaning about quantum physics,but am not a history person. However the text was so cleverly written that I became captivated with the conversational style and getting a sense of who these personalities were. If you are into quantum physics, then you have to listen to this book to appreciate the historical struggle to make it accessible to us all. The narrator, Walter Dixon, does a great job of reading this title. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Stuart Woodward on 09-23-10
A Trek Through The History of Quantum Physics
Listening to how the ideas developed really gives you an insight into the personalities of the familiar characters in the world of Quantum Physicists and an appreciation that some of today's accepted dogma was highly controversial at the time it was proposed and split the community into believers and non-believers.
I really enjoyed the narration but I'm going to have to re-listen at least one more time as the gentle tones of the reader lulled me into sleep several times on my train commute and bedtime read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful