Beyond Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy and the Meaning of Quantum Theory

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 30 Oct 2003
Quantum theory is one the most important and successful theories of modern physical science. It has been estimated that its principles form the basis for about 30 per cent of the world's manufacturing economy. This is all the more remarkable because quantum theory is a theory that nobody understands. The meaning of Quantum Theory introduces science students to the theory's fundamental conceptual and philosophical problems, and the basis of its non-understandability. It does this with the barest minimum of jargon and very little mathematics in the main text. Readers wishing to delve more deeply into the theory's mathematical subtleties can do so in an extended series of appendices. The book brings the reader up to date with the results of new experimental tests of quantum weirdness and reviews the latest thinking on alternative interpretations, the frontiers of quantum cosmology, quantum gravity and potential application of this weirdness in computing, cryptography and teleportation.
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ISBN-13: 9780198525363
ISBN-10: 0198525362
Pagini: 396
Ilustrații: numerous figures
Dimensiuni: 168 x 240 x 20 mm
Greutate: 0.75 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


To facilitate the flow of the text, the relevant mathematical material has been put into 27 bite-size appendices, which will save the reader much trouble in referring to research journals and more formal textbooks. I think this is an excellent idea.
What is enormously impressive is the author's thorough and up-to-date treatment of a vast range of recent work in all aspects of quantum mechanics ... I consider this to be an essential purchase for anyone who is at all seriously interested in the philosophical background to quantum mechanics. No graduate student entering this area of physics can possibly afford to be without it.
Baggott confines all the equations to optional appendices so that the book succeeds in having a broader appeal than might be imagined ... A nice feature of the book is the section on recent experiments including Aspect's famous series of tests of the Bell inequalities.
Beyond Measure is the ideal book if you are already aware of the weirdness of the quantum world and want to know more.
What makes Beyond Measure different from other attempts at explaining quantum physics is the way Baggott has structured the book so that each idea gets its own place, in a series of five mini-books within the book.
... you don't need much maths to understand [Baggott's] arguments, but you do need your brain switched on ... read this and you'll probably know more than the lecturers!
... does for quantum theory what Hawking's A brief history of time did for astronomy and cosmology.
... provides a fascinating account of the history of quantum theory, easy-to-follow guidance in a wide range of quantum principles, and an intriguing discussion of the impact of quantum ideas on modern philosophy.
Jim Baggott's Beyond Measure is a lively tour through the major positions in the foundations and interpretation of the quantum theory. It is not a prancing roshis tour but a carefully written and beautifully organized primer on virtually all the interesting issues.
... for those with an interest in physics it is highly recommended, both simply as a readable and up-to-date overview of quantum theory as well as as a useful reference work
More than a revision of a classic account of quantum mechanics, Jim Baggott's book is the definitive non-technical account of the wonder and understandable strangeness of the theory that underlies all of physics - quantum mechanics.

Notă biografică

Dr James Baggott199 Beech Lane, Earley, Reading RG6 5UP07775 940 2560118 9212 author has written many popular science articles for newspapers (Independent, Daily Telegraph) and popular science magazines such as New Scientist. He has also appeared on a couple of radio programmes dealing with quantum theory (the last time for a series aired on BBC Radio 4 in late 1999).