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Matt said: Quantum-Theory is a rather complicated matter of which I knew next to Quantum by Manjit Kumar Ageless Body, Timeless Mind by Deepak Chopra. In his lively new book, “Quantum,” the science writer Manjit Kumar cites a poll about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, taken among. Manjit Kumar’s Quantum is a super-collider of a book, shaking together an exotic cocktail of free-thinking physicists, tracing their chaotic.

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Preview — Quantum by Manjit Kumar. For most people, quantum theory is a byword for mysterious, impenetrable science. And yet for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly-written history of this fundamental scientific revolution, and the divisive debate at its heart. For 60 years most physicists believed that quantum theory denied the very existe For most people, quantum theory is a byword for mysterious, impenetrable science.

For 60 years most physicists believed that quantum theory denied the very existence of reality itself. Yet Kumar shows how the golden age of physics ignited the greatest intellectual debate of the twentieth century. Quantum sets the science in the context of the great upheavals of the modern age.

In the quantum pioneers nearly all hailed from upper-middle-class academic families; most were German; and their average age was But it was their irrational, romantic spirit, formed in reaction to the mechanised slaughter of the First World War that inspired their will to test science to its limits.

The essential read for anyone fascinated by this complex and thrilling story and by the band of young men at its heart. Paperbackpages. Published April 2nd by Icon Books first published March 5th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Quantumplease sign up. Randy Gardner I found my copy at a library surplus book store.

I would gladly give it to you when I finish it myself. See 1 question about Quantum…. Lists with This Book. Quantum-Theory is a rather complicated matter of which I knew next to nothing prior to reading this book.

Manjit Kumar was able to shed at least a little light some photons if you like on the topic, and I got a glimpse on this extraordinary achievement of human mind.

Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality by Manjit Kumar

Spanning roughly the time between Planck’s constant a Quantum-Theory is a rather complicated matter of which I knew next to nothing prior to reading this book.

There’s hardly any mathematics in this book and only a few diagrams. The author sets the weight on the essential leaps in developing the theory and adds some intriguing qantum and historical background on the physicists involved.

Much more interesting to me manjt was the Einstein-Bohr debate. Kjmar Einstein has spend a lot of his energy to refute Bohr’s interpretation of QM. For scientists, this book is certainly too superficial, but I think in order to gain an outside perspective on quantum mechanics this is an excellent read. View all 21 comments. Dec 12, Max rated it it was amazing Shelves: Kumar really helps make sense of it.


My notes below summarize the science that paved quqntum way for quantum theory, the Einstein Bohr rivalry and the various takes on the Copenhagen interpretation. Working to derive a formula to predict the spectral distribution of blackbody radiation inPlanck found that only whole increments of energy worked.

He dodged the issue by saying that only the exchange of energy was quantized, not energy itself. Along came Einstein who accepted atoms as discrete matter qquantum sources of discrete energy.

Einstein employed his quantum theory of electromagnetic radiation to explain the photoelectric effect in which light precipitates the release of electrons from metals.

This was in Even in when Einstein was awarded the Noble Prize for his equation explaining the photoelectric effect, the underlying principle of light as quanta was still not widely accepted. After overcoming the implied disrespect to Newton, scientists finally accepted light as a wave and held onto that view as tenaciously as they had held onto the particle view before.

In Niels Bohr conceptualized the quantum atom. Each orbit had a specific energy level. When an electron moved from one orbit to another an exact amount of mabjit quantum was exchanged which resulted in unique spectral patterns.

Amazingly there was no in between. An electron left one quantjm and appeared in another instantaneously. The Franck-Hertz experiment in confirmed that the energy released or absorbed was exactly the difference between the energy levels of the orbits. In Bohr refined his atomic model with the concept of electron shells. This allowed him to predict the chemical similarities of elements in the periodic table.

Infinding time after his ground shattering theory of general relativity was announced inEinstein theorized that spontaneous emission occurred when an electron jumped to a lower energy orbit. The rub was that kumarr his theory electrons made these jumps at random.

Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality

His theory employed probabilities to determine the frequency of these jumps. Einstein, now as later, was uncomfortable with chance kjmar physics theories. Only a particle would behave this way. Furthermore he found the recoiling electrons that the x-rays had bounced off of.

Then a French prince, Louis de Broglie, setting the kkmar for quantum mechanics, postulated that if a wave could have the values of a particle, why not the reverse? Ascribing wave characteristics to electrons explained perfectly the available orbits for electrons in an atom. Only those orbits that could accommodate whole or half wave lengths were physically possible. Sure enough subsequent experiments showed that electrons diffracted just like light. Wave particle duality was now established for energy and matter.

In Wolfgang Pauli building on a paper by Edmund Stoner developed the exclusion principle. Stoner determined the number of possible energy states of electrons orbiting an atom. But the three quantum numbers denoting angular momentum, shape of orbit and orientation of orbit only allowed for half quantkm the possible energy states. Pauli developed a fourth quantum number which would later be explained as spin.


This quantum spin had two states, up or down, doubling the number of allowable electrons. It also explained the heretofore mysterious splitting of qjantum lines known as the Zeeman Effect.

The exclusion principle stated that no two electrons in an atom could have the same set of quantum numbers thus limiting the number of electrons. Werner Heisenberg solved a remaining problem of the quantum atom model. Even though it now explained the frequency of spectral lines, it did kumaf explain the different intensities.

Heisenberg decided to kumqr anything not observable, even that electrons occupied orbits. He needed the help of Max Born who collaborated with one his students, an excellent mathematician named Pascual Jordan, to get the math to support the physical theory. This new quantum mechanics employed a strange form of matrix mathematics in which A times B does not equal B times A, but it successfully calculated spectral line intensities.

In England, Cambridge student P. The rub was picturing what mankit wave represented. He denied that electrons were particles at all while Heisenberg, committed to particles, opposed the wave theory, putting the two at odds.

Quantum (book) – Wikipedia

This stated that quantum mechanics could not determine both the position and momentum of a particle, specifically an electron. Heisenberg refused to imply any behavior to an electron that could not be measured. There was no assuming what happened to an electron between two measurements, thus no path at all was held to have been traveled.

Basically Heisenberg was saying classical concepts of wave, particle, position, momentum and trajectory had no meaning in the quantum kimar until observed. Bohr believed that uncertainty was fundamental to the kimar nature of mwnjit duality. Bohr felt the electron was both a wave and a particle, but that no experiment could measure both at the same time. He called his principle complementarity. Bohr held that observer and observed could not be separated. The way the quantum world was observed determined what was seen.

Be it wave or particle, both observations were true depending on the way it was observed. Causality and regular patterns had no meaning. The only prediction quantum mechanics could make was one of probability. No experiment could ever return the deterministic clockwork cosmos of Newton to the quantum world.

There was no reality at the quantum level outside of observation. This view became known as the Copenhagen interpretation. Einstein, while accepting that quantum mechanics was a correct and important theory, did not accept this interpretation. It was there even when nobody was looking. At the conferences in Solvay in and Einstein offered thought experiments to show quantum mechanics was an incomplete description of reality. Bohr would parry and nothing would be resolved.

Many Physicists in Germany were Jewish or had Jewish connections.