Quantum theory revolutionized physics at the beginning of the last century. Einstein was one of its originators, but as the implications of the theory emerged, he began to have doubts. Are the most basic physical processes based on probability? Is the Universe governed by chance? Do physical objects have an independent existence or do they exist only in our perception? The ramifications may appear bizarre but they are inherent to this perplexing subject.
The Quantum Adventure deals with the birth and growth of quantum mechanics. It explains the “classical dilemma” which faced physics at the start of the 20th Century and goes on to show how quantum mechanics emerged and flourished. Difficult and abstract concepts are treated with minimal mathematics and maximal physical imagery. Snippets of information about the dramatis personae are woven into the text and add color to what is traditionally perceived as a complex and challenging topic. A must-read for anyone interested in quantum physics.
Contents: Prehistory — Isaac NewtonPreparing for Quantum MechanicsThe Pre-Quantum Atom — A Temporary SolutionMax Planck — The Birth of the Quantum AdventureLight — Wave or Projectile?Einstein Enters the SceneNiels Bohr Introduces the Quantum into Atomic PhysicssWerner Heisenberg — An Equation for UncertaintyLouis de Broglie — Matter WavesErwin Schrödinger — Wave MechanicsEigenstates — The Theory of the Seen and UnseenEigenstates in the Subnuclear WorldPaul Dirac — Tying Things TogetherRichard Feynman — The Strange Theory of Light and MatterQuantum Reality — The World of the AbsurdReadership: General public with an interest in science, quantum physics or history of science.