Quantum mechanics (Popular science)

In summary, Unger and Smolin argue that mathematics is not a true representation of the physical world, but is instead a misleading formalism used to understand physical reality.
  • #1
Could anybody suggest good popular science books based on quantum mechanics ?
It would be great if the book contained a lot of theory rather than its history.
As a side note, has anybody read the book titled "Quantum" by Manjit Kumar ?
 
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  • #2
I got 28 hits, not all unique, searching at Amazon for quantum mechanics for dummies. I doubt that you will find "lots of theory" popular.

The root problem is that QM is so far removed from experience and intuition, that's what the QM interpretation debate is all about. How can we (re)interpret QM making it accessible to intuition?
 
  • #3
Doug Huffman said:
I got 28 hits, not all unique, searching at Amazon for quantum mechanics for dummies. I doubt that you will find "lots of theory" popular.

The root problem is that QM is so far removed from experience and intuition, that's what the QM interpretation debate is all about. How can we (re)interpret QM making it accessible to intuition?
Well then, what is your impression about the book by Manjit Kumar ?
 
  • #4
With respect, I have not read Manjit Kumar's book.

Most recently I spent a month trying and failing to get through Unger and Smolin's The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy. Brazilian Unger's portion of the book used sentence structure just too awkward to endure.
 
  • #5
Well have you read "The Cycles of time" by Roger Penrose ?
 
  • #7
QED by Richard Feynman is very fun. Also, Feynman’s original lectures on QM: they’re not quite pop science but are aimed at 1st-year undergrads and are easier than most textbooks. The early chapters read quite like popular science, and only require high-school knowledge. You can read it for free at http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/III_toc.html

There is also Roger Penrose’s Road to Reality, which is very theory-heavy and meant to be excellent, but despite technically being popular science I found it far harder than any textbook. If you like very very concise explanations of difficult ideas you might like it.
 
  • #9
In 'Singular Universe', Part I, Chapter 1, is the section titled 'The selective realism of mathematics' wherein Unger introduces their thesis against mathematics as misleading formalism, as maths-salad.
 

1. What is quantum mechanics?

Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that studies the behavior and interactions of particles at a microscopic level, such as atoms and subatomic particles. It describes the fundamental principles that govern the behavior of these particles and their interactions with each other and their environment.

2. Why is quantum mechanics important?

Quantum mechanics is important because it helps us understand the behavior of matter and energy at a fundamental level. It has numerous practical applications, such as in the development of new technologies like transistors and lasers. It also plays a crucial role in fields like chemistry, materials science, and engineering.

3. What are some key principles of quantum mechanics?

Some key principles of quantum mechanics include the wave-particle duality, superposition, and uncertainty principle. The wave-particle duality states that particles can exhibit both wave-like and particle-like properties. Superposition refers to the ability of quantum particles to exist in multiple states at the same time. The uncertainty principle states that it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of a particle with absolute certainty.

4. How is quantum mechanics different from classical mechanics?

Quantum mechanics and classical mechanics are two different theories used to describe the behavior of matter and energy. Classical mechanics, developed by Isaac Newton, describes the behavior of macroscopic objects, while quantum mechanics is used to explain the behavior of particles at a microscopic level. Quantum mechanics is also probabilistic in nature, while classical mechanics is deterministic.

5. What are some real-world applications of quantum mechanics?

Some real-world applications of quantum mechanics include transistors, lasers, and computer memory. It also plays a crucial role in technologies like MRI machines and GPS devices. In addition, quantum mechanics is being researched for potential applications in quantum computing, cryptography, and communication.

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