The Quantum Story

  • by Jim Baggott
  • Narrated by Mike Pollock
  • 15 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the 21st-century technology that we now take for granted. But at the same time it has completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at its most fundamental level. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it.
The Quantum Story begins in 1900, tracing a century of game-changing science. Popular science writer Jim Baggott first shows how, over the space of three decades, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and others formulated and refined the theory--and opened the floodgates. Indeed, since then, a torrent of ideas has flowed from the world's leading physicists, as they explore and apply the theory's bizarre implications. To take us from the story's beginning to the present day, Baggott organizes his narrative around 40 turning-point moments of discovery. Many of these are inextricably bound up with the characters involved--their rivalries and their collaborations, their arguments and, not least, their excitement as they sense that they are redefining what reality means. Through the mix of story and science, we experience their breathtaking leaps of theory and experiment, as they uncover such undreamed of and mind-boggling phenomenon as black holes, multiple universes, quantum entanglement, the Higgs boson, and much more.
Brisk, clear, and compelling, The Quantum Story is science writing at its best. A compelling look at the 100-year history of quantum theory, it illuminates the idea as it reveals how generations of physicists have grappled with this monster ever since.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not for the Casual Reader

This novel is primarily about the personalities behind quantum theory rather than the science itself. When the author does tackle the subject he quickly becomes arcane and obscure. He does not possess the ability Stephen Hawking has for explaining a complex subject in a manner easily understood for the lay reader. That being said the narrator is excellent and possesses both a clear voice and a sense of captivation in the subject he is reading. This in itself makes the book work the trouble for me. But I would not recommend anyone waste their credit or money unless they are steeped in the arcane knowledge of the quantum world.
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- John

Quantum mechanics time travel

Jim Baggot does an excellent job of the taking us on the journey of the quantum mechanics. Mike Pollock's narration is likable. Since its inception with the work of Max Planck right till the current ongoing work of Ed Witten on M-String theory, the entire spectrum is well chronicled.

You will get the glimpses of the what went on through the minds of Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schroedinger as well as Wolfgang Pauli and Paul Dirac. The idea of Neils Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory is concretely explained. Albert Einstein's role in all this is nicely potrayed.

The rich additions to the standard model of physics was done by next generation of physicists such as Murray Gellman, Sheldon Glashow, Richard Feynman. The concepts of quarks, Quantum Electrodynamics and Quantum Chromodynamics is vividly explained through the thoughts of these great scientists.

The books ends with Stephen Hawking's black hole theory and the search project for the still elusive Higgs Boson - "the God particle"
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- Abhi Mahule

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-19-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios