Spooky Action at a Distance

  • by George Musser
  • Narrated by William Hughes
  • 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally stop to ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time. The phenomenon - the ability of one particle to affect another instantly across the vastness of space - appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't quite resolve it, describing it as "spooky action at a distance". But this strange occurrence has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it?
In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to understand it. Musser guides us on an epic journey of scientific discovery into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers discovering galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. Their conclusions challenge our understanding not only of space and time but of the origins of the universe - and their insights are spurring profound technological innovation and suggesting a new grand unified theory of physics.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Rambling but Asks Good Questions

The author rambles quite a bit then, a little tentatively and vaguely, he asks important questions about the universe. He does very little actual explaining in this book, instead he asks scientists these questions and reports the responses. Some responses are understandable and relevant, many others are not. The finest aspect of this book is the good questions it asks:
What exactly is this Spooky Action at a Distance?
How does this work with Quantum Mechanics and Relativity?
How is it different from normal action that can transmit information?
What is local realism and does it really hold?
Is randomness fundamental or an aspect of non-locality?
Are Space and Time fundamental or just interpretations?
Are Continuums fundamental or just interpretations?
Unfortunately there are no answers to these questions in the book and the author seems to revel in the weirdness of modern physics instead of seeking simplicity that might transform the weirdness into the obvious.
I enjoyed this book for the questions, but I was frustrated by the presentation of tricky ideas without context or simplification, the lack of focus or structure, and the anything-goes attitude, where any theory is as good as any other, regardless of how weird it might be.

The narration is quite good keeping a very engaging tone and energy throughout.
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- Michael

Just fantastic

Keeps you hooked, and I have ADHD. It's has slow parts of more known history than science if you already listen to similar books. But he keeps it interesting with broad topics. I thought it was a great book that was a surprise after many less interesting. Will listen too over and over I'm sure.
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- AJ Rothman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.