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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.
©2011 Jim Baggott (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Abhi Mahule on 08-12-11

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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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Gregory on 08-20-11

Exploring the extremely small and extremely huge

Although, the title on one of the downloads is mislabeled as "40 Minutes" -- these "40 Moments" last for 15 1/2 hours in the audible format. That is a lot of listening for one credit, but worth the time if you have any interest in science, physics, space, or time. The author covers the struggles, over more than a century, to understand opposite ends of our "normal" perception of reality -- the extremely small and extremely huge -- the structure and physics of atoms and the universe. The book is well read, so you can ignore the formulas and still capture the major concepts, even if you are not a physicist. I would not have tackled this content in written form, but it was enjoyable in audio. [If you are a physicist, you might also want the hard-copy book for the references and all the formulas (which are not as simple as e = mc**2).] This book provided me an appreciation of how difficult it was (and still is) for the geniuses to figure this stuff out. I discovered that the science, which my high school and college professors often presented as "facts," ended up being "false", questionable, only one of strong competing theories or opinions, or an over-simplification of reality. However, the "final answer" is not included in the book, since it has yet to be discovered.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Adrian on 01-27-12

You should obtain a degree after listening to this

Crikey, get a text book if you want to know this story, it would be far easier. I abandoned the fascinating subject half way through quite unable to find time enough to devote exclusive concentration to the details of the mathematics presented here. I am NOT a mathematician, mind.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By David on 09-09-12

Boring as hell

I downloaded this before a long flight and found it utterely boring, it is a littled mixed up, discontinuous and presented in a drawling long winded lecturing format, the narrator didnt help either.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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