Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub atomic world It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries The main text makes noQuantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub atomic world It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare Uncertainty, probabilistic physics, complementarity, the problematic character of measurement, and decoherence are among the many topics discussed This volume offers the reader access to one of the greatest discoveries in the history of physics and one of the outstanding intellectual achievements of the twentieth century.About the Series Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life s most interesting topics Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Quantum Theory A Very Short Introduction Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton This book gives a lucid exciting and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our underst

  • Title: Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction
  • Author: John C. Polkinghorne
  • ISBN: 9780192802521
  • Page: 340
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction”

    1. Polkinghorne, a student of the great Paul Dirac, may have achieved an undeniable eminence in his field, but I'm afraid I was left mostly unimpressed by this attempt to communicate his ideas. Not only one of the weaker books on quantum theory, but also one of the weaker entries in the Very Short Introduction series as a whole (well, of the few dozen I've read).Two main problems I had with it: 1) Mathematical: It assumes too much of the reader in the way of complex numbers, probability amplitudes, [...]

    2. After indulging in many texts themed around quantum mechanics, this particular book came as a relief to me. To my slight frustration many readers seem to think that this particular subject can just be explained with no mathematical detail; it is quite the contrary. Polkinghorne has done a fine job articulating the basic concepts of quantum mechanics while keeping in the minimal amount of maths needed to retain this fundamental understanding. Anyone who claims there are 'better' books on the subj [...]

    3. The first half of the book is great, briefly explains all the theories involved in formation of Quantum theory.The second half wasn't something I was expecting, it was way to tough for me though I have read few other books on the same subject no one talked about the actual maths. The author tried to explain some mathematics related to quantum theory very briefly which wasn't actually needed in a book meant for general public. For people who don't have major in Quantum theory will surely feel une [...]

    4. Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #69), John PolkinghorneQuantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a [...]

    5. Well, this was a truly impressive work. Polkinghorne manages to explain quantum theory and much more I think. He packs so much of interest into this book that it is a miracle how it can be so short. It is also quite complex I would say (a complex subject though!) that I wonder if it should be called "introduction". That is not a comment against the clarity of view, but a comment on the depth that I think he manages to reach.

    6. Polkinghorne’s preface opens with this statement: “The discovery of modern quantum theory in the mid-1920s brought about the greatest revision in our thinking about the nature of the physical world since the days of Isaac Newton. What had been considered to be the arena of clear and determinate process was found to be, at its subatomic roots, cloudy and fitful in its behavior. Compared with this revolutionary change, the great discoveries of special and general relativity seem not much more [...]

    7. با این‌که سعی نویسنده در همهٔ قسمت‌های کتاب بر این بوده که از آوردن هر رابطهٔ ریاضی‌ای خودداری کنه و مفاهیم رو تا حد امکان ساده‌سازی کنه، اما با این حال برای کسی که فیزیک نخونده باشه کنار اومدن با کتاب و به اتمام رسوندنش بسیار کار سختی خواهد بود احتمالاً (با این‌که کتاب حجیم [...]

    8. Very accessible, took a little chewing sometimes (probably because my physics background is minimal) but there are some nice slices of science history to be had. I'm sure there are plenty of more substantial books on quantum theory out there, but this was a nice sampling of concepts.Nitpick: Used the words "fitful" and "cloudy" too much.

    9. 3.5 stars.I'm not really sure if this book does a good work introducing quantum theory or not. Apart from my previous knowledge on the subject, which makes the decision a bit difficult, it happens that Polkinghorne tends to compound more-than-advisable convoluted sentences, what can obscure their meaning (I just tried to mimick him as an example). On the other hand, he includes some powerful analogies that may help the understanding. There are (almost) no mathematical concepts in the middle of t [...]

    10. Within the constraints of the Very Short Introductions series, this book does a very impressive job of explaining quantum mechanics through its history. The author bravely goes beyond the usual layman level vague explanations, and brings out the underlying maths just enough to give us an idea of what questions physicist face and how modern physics works. And he largely succeeds in that endeavor, even if he asks for some patient reading and a mental workout from the reader.

    11. Ok, dit boek verdient ofwel 2 sterren ofwel 4 sterren.Het boek heet: A very short En wel daar zit hem ook het probleem. Door het zo kort mogelijk te maken gaan we te snel van het éne naar het andere en is het moeilijk om volgen. Zeker voor iemand die hier geen achtergrond in heeft moet het niet te volgen zijn. Dus het is meer een very short intro voor mensen die sowieso hier al wat meer van weten.Dus als dit voor jouw geen problemen geeft dan is het zeker wel het volgen waard, maar ik ga toch v [...]

    12. I have finished John Polkinghorne's little book, "Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction". I liked the book quite well. I felt that the author did a fine job of making quantum theory as palatable as it could well be made for a non-physicist readership. I like the fact that there was considerable discussion of the vital philosophical implications of quantum physics. No clear preference for a philosophical explication of quantum theory was offered, but I do understand Polkinghorne to be a theis [...]

    13. Recommended to me by a friend who didn't realize I was out of the target market for this book. That being said I read through it and found it a little dry. Not sure I'd actually recommend this to someone who wanted an introduction when there are so many others out there.

    14. You will not understand Quantum Theory by reading this book. Because our brains didn't evolve capable to grasp the abstract world of Quantum Mechanics. However, this book did well in explaining many concepts and demystifying many aspects of Quantum physics. I learned a lot from this book.

    15. I think that things Quantum might just be out of my conceptual reach. This book left me with some vocabulary but no depth of comprehension. But it may be that it just is not possible to write a simple book about Quantum Theory?

    16. Короткая книга написана представителем англиканской церкви.

    17. Tiny little book, deliberately written as clearly and simply as possible. Still thick with data and will require your full attention to read and process.

    18. Jim PearceThis book explains the history and physics of quantum mechanics in a manner that is concise (90 pages), clear, and void of complex mathematic formulas; they are included, but in the appendix. For most of us, the formulas do not help to explain the text, but they do provide an appreciation of the complexity of the topic. Additionally, these formulas bring to fore realization that physics is a world where observation and mathematics meet; observations must be defined mathematically and m [...]

    19. Quite an awesome book!!!! If I can get in a grad program I'd do something quantum related.============I understand that this is intended to be a popular physics book. But throwing in some sort of equation when talking about things like Energy and frequency and plank constant, Bohr model etc would have been easier for undergrad level reader like me.Just occur to me that because the quantum logic is quite different from classical logic, wouldn't it be a interesting thing to write a piece of quantu [...]

    20. The insights of quantum physics are key to many technologies we use today, and yet most people are unaware of the key discoveries made already a century ago now, being familiar only with the "classical physics" of their basic high school or university science classes. Though I had an inkling of what I was missing out on from being a great reader of hard science-fiction, I needed to familiarize myself with the basics of field, and John Polkinghorne's slim volume in the Oxford "A Very Short Introd [...]

    21. As a non-scientist, and after reading many books on quantum mechanics over a period of years, I appreciated this book for its concise explanation of the different elements of Quantum theory and how they arose. Because the author did not go into much detail about the Physicists themselves or their lives, but instead stuck to explaining the discoveries and how they fit together in simple ways, I found myself able to grasp and retain much of the larger picture, and understand some of the ideas that [...]

    22. Contents:(view spoiler)[PrefaceList of illustrations– 1. Adding waves– 2. Solvay Conference 1927– 3. The double slits experiment– 4. Adding vectors– 5. Non-commuting rotations– 6. A Stern–Gerlach experiment– 7. Tunnelling– 8. Band structure– 9. A delayed choice experiment1. Classical cracks– The nature of light– Spectra– The ultraviolet catastrophe– The photoelectric effect– The nuclear atom– The Bohr atom– Compton scattering2. The light dawns– Matrix mechanic [...]

    23. It is what should have happened a few centuries after Newton's theory of everything became the dominant scientific framework for how things work that classical physicists start dreaming up improbable situations based more on pre-Socratic philosophy than evidence-based research. This is not a slam against the many men (are their any women quantum theorists? - not in this book) who developed a way to explain the very fast and the incredibly small. In explaining the history of quantum theory, Polki [...]

    24. Bit of a let-down this one, I'm afraid. That's not entirely the book's fault. I went in hoping to learn a thing or two about how quantum mechanics work only to discover that we don't really know how it works. Sure we know the formulas and how to make predictions based on them, but we don't know why they work. This then leads into thoughts I'm sure many have had about quantum theory, mainly that it's infuriating. What's most infuriating is that I was able to piece together most of this material b [...]

    25. An excellent introduction to a subject often shrouded in mystery and hype. Polkinghorne skillfully walks us through the discovery of quantum mechanics, placing it in the broader context of scientific theories, the personalities of the scientists involved, and even a touch of philosophy. 90% of the book is clearly written so that even the mathematically-challenged can grasp the concepts and implications. The remaining 10% is more advanced than general readers may understand but Polkinghorne is co [...]

    26. A Very Short Introduction's Quantum Theory was very helpful. As expected, it was slow going at the best of times, but ultimately helped me grasp some of these far out concepts. Polkinghorne is a very intellectual writer, favoring technical descriptions over using imagery to help explain his point. I personally thought he could have used more examples or analogies to help the reader understand his explanations more clearly. The few times he used solid examples (in explaining the transfer of infor [...]

    27. "There is a inescapable trade-off between the increasing accuracy of position measurement and the decreasing accuracy of knowledge of momentum.This fact is the basis of the uncertainty principle: it is not possible simultaneously to have perfect knowledge of both position and momentum. In more picturesque language, one can know where an electron is, but not know what it is doing; or one can know what it is doing, but not know where it is. In the quantum world, what the classical physicist would [...]

    28. Of the four Very Short Introductions I have read, this was by far the best. Mr. Polkinghorne never loses sight of his audience.I appreciated the enthusiasm the author brought to the subject, and I found his method of introducting Quantum Theory by tracing the history of quantum discoveries to be very accessible. He took care to avoid deep math, but didn't shy from it when necessary.There were still some parts of this book that went over my head, but I finished it with a desire to know more. I th [...]

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