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

Quantum Einstein Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality 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 wri

  • Title: Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
  • Author: Manjit Kumar
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 370
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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 existFor 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 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 1925 the quantum pioneers nearly all hailed from upper middle class academic families most were German and their average age was 24 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

    One thought on “Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality”

    1. Quantum-Theory is a rather complicated matter of which I knew next to nothing prior to reading this book. Of course I heard of some players in this field, like Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, or Heisenberg, but it was all very vague and left me standing pretty much in the dark. 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. Spanning roughly the time between 1900 (Planck's constant) [...]

    2. Whether the science in this book is light or heavy depends on who you are. For me, the science was heavy, as my fascination with science has always been greater than my knowledge of it. I am not a scientist. That said, I loved this book. Did I understand all the theories, experiments and discussions? No. But I understood enough to follow the narrative and get excited or saddened by events and to share the passion of these giants and marvel at their tenacity and their genius.Years ago, When I sta [...]

    3. I thoroughly enjoyed Kumar’s book. He traces the scientific discoveries leading to quantum theory and the relationships of the scientists with a focus on the Einstein-Bohr debate over the theory’s meaning. I found Kumar’s explanations of complex theories accessible and helpful. I remember in high school and college in the 1960’s always hearing about this strange quantum world that didn’t quite exist unless someone looked at it. Kumar really helps make sense of it. My notes below summar [...]

    4. It started with German physicists trying to make a better light bulb, and ended with the collapse of classical physics (if only at the subatomic level). Manjit Kumar’s Quantum is a history of the development of our understanding (if understanding is the right word for something nobody seems to understand) of quantum mechanics, looking into the lives of the key players as much as their discoveries.The two major players are Einstein and Niels Bohr, who, while agreeing that the equations behind q [...]

    5. I’ve read a few books on Quantum physics and its incredible quirks and its implications about the nature of reality. By comparison, this book is light on the science, but provides an excellent history of quantum physics. There are historical fact that I had never heard of, such as the rivalry between Schrodinger and Heisenberg. Any book on quantum physics makes you think that Schrodinger was one of the pillars of the quantum community, but in fact he was an outsider and at odds with Bohr/Heise [...]

    6. There are a lot of popular science books on quantum theory but this one is different in that its aim is to question what's meant by reality. Manjit Kumar achieves this objective admirably. He also provides what I've found to be the best and most coherent account of the history of the development of quantum theory that I've read, managing, at the same time, to bring alive many of the key physicists and mathematicians involved, and not just Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein who are in the book's titl [...]

    7. In this work the author managed to give a superb account of the development of thought about quantum by bringing to life all the great physicists involved (Planck, Einstein, Born, Bohr, Schrödinger, de Broglie, Wien, Pauli, Heisenberg, Dirac, Boltzmann, Compton, Bohm, von Neumann, Bell) through vivid vignettes of their scientific accomplishments, interpersonal relations and the historical background. As it is evident from the title, the aim of the book was to present the clash of philosophical [...]

    8. Many good books are written to simplistically explain the theoretical revolutions brought about in The first half of the tweNtieth century. Great biographies are published on the protagonists. But this book is something just different, wonderfuLly different.Sidestepping relativity is never easy while talking about Einstein. The book manages this. His opposition to Quantum theory is often either trivialised or made ridiculously philosOphical. The book masterfully traverses the landscape.But the b [...]

    9. A very interesting and detailed account of the development of quantum physics and the decennia-long discussion between Einstein and Bohr about the nature of reality. Not an easy subject but the author manages to make it accessible for non-scientist, (and he kept the mathematicas at a minimum). I listened to the audiobook (ca. 14 hrs), beautifully read by Nat Porter.

    10. I’ve ostensibly been reading ‘Quantum’ for nine months. Actually, I got about 70 pages in while on a train then let it sit on my bedside table for three quarters of a year. Then I took it along on another long train journey and got back into it, although it definitely benefits from the lack of distractions in a quiet carriage. The fact is, I am social scientist who hasn’t studied any actual science since I was 16 and only realised while reading this book that the word ‘nuclear’ refer [...]

    11. Although I study chemistry and I love science, I've never been good at physics. This time I decided to make an exception and read this book. I found it absorbing like a novel, really well written and clear in explaining scientifics notions.I especially appreciate the way the author combine science, history and scientists personal lives. As a student I often heard Einstein, Bohr, Rutherford, Planck, Shroedinger, Heisenberg, Pauli, but I never stopped thinking about them just as persons. This book [...]

    12. Well-written and engaging. Clarifies and explains concepts and events in 20th-century physics in ways that enable the scientific imbecile to better comprehend what the big deal is and why it's (still) such a big deal. Also works to arm said scientific imbecile with ways to humiliate people in the humanities who just love to bullshit about stuff they understand even less than someone who read a pop-science history does.Oh, and there's fun stuff in here about the personal lives of major figures in [...]

    13. Einstein: There is an objective reality that exists independently of any observer.Bohr: No, there isn't.Kumar dives into this gap and brings back a fascinating account of the history of the quantum, from Max Planck to Erwin Schrödinger and beyond. He strikes a good balance between historical/social/biographical contexts, explanations of some extremely recondite concepts (the usual mind-boggling, common sense-defying suspects), and the larger philosophical implications regarding what quantum the [...]

    14. This book gave life to most of the physics stuff I learnt. Stories behind all the amazing discoveries in the quantum world is vividly written. The struggles and contradictions among the brilliant scientists during the evolution of quantum mechanics are well-explained. It has been a wonderful journey. Even while keeping the weirdness of the quantum realm intact, this book will make the subject all the more likeable.

    15. This is a good recounting of the historical development of quantum physics. It tells the story through a series of biographies of the major players--Planck, Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, etc The book contains a lot of interesting information about the confusion felt by these great physicists as they tried to understand the implications of their experimental results and mathematical theories. It became clear over time that the assumptions of classical physics were not valid at the subatomic level, [...]

    16. Manjit Kumar's book is a fascinating history of one of the most fundamental areas of science.Just as the title says, it is a history of the great debate about the nature of reality with Einstein and Neils Bohr leading the opposing views. Quantum Mechanics has always been a fascinating subject for me, mainly because I could never hope to understand it enough, however much time I spent on it. This brilliant work takes you through the history of the ideas behind quantum mechanics from the late 19th [...]

    17. 4.5/5 starsIf you believe that quantum mechanics is complicated, then, to quote Walter White, you're goddamn right. However, it doesn't mean that quantum mechanics cannot be understood whatsoever. With persistence, patience, and attention, some level of understanding could be reached."Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality" written by Manjit Kumar is a book attempting to guide you through the rich history behind this revolution: from the quantization of energy, [...]

    18. عنوان الكتاب: الكمومية - آينشتاين، بور والنقاش العظيم حول طبيعة الواقعالمؤلف: مانجت كومارعدد الصفحات: 448 - 14 ساعة ونص تقريبًا ككتاب مسموعسنة النشر: 2008التقييم: أربع نجوم ونصفيمكننا اعتبار هذا الكتاب الجزء الثاني أو التفصيلي لكتاب مبدأ اللايقين الذي قرأته قبله بفترة بسيطة، فهو [...]

    19. Like a good novel, this kept me gripped to the very end thanks to a perfect balance between hard science and human interest. The first thing you notice about the book is the detail. Copiously researched, Kumar has pulled together a truly impressive array of material, both personal and professional, constructing a rich history that transports you to the subject's golden age and to the lives of the key players. He tells a story so engrossing and so detailed that I felt surprisingly moved towards t [...]

    20. This book provides simplistic and yet excellent history of Quantum Physics. I particularly liked the part which mentions rivalry between Schrodinger and Heisenberg. I was finally able to understand though still not clearly, why Einstein is considered as the father(if you call Max Planck the grandfather) of quantum theory.I have to admit I need to go through this book one more time to completely understand the technical arguments, though they were very few throughout the book. Overall, I would sa [...]

    21. Quantum was an excellent history of the quantum revolution that began in the early 20th century. It touches on all the main characters in the development of quantum theory and subsequent development of quantum mechanics. There's a good bit of biographical and world history in the mix and you really get into the lives of these pivotal scientists, their passions, theories, interests, and lives.There is a fair bit of math and physics along the way, some parts get pretty heavy into it, but mostly th [...]

    22. Fascinating book. I've heard many anecdotal stories about quantum physics but this a great book that paints the broad strokes as told through the lives of the scientists who invented it. This book specifically focuses on the metaphysical debates between Einstein and Bohr and the fundamental implications it has for the nature of reality itself. It is great stuff. It is also heavy stuff, but a good escape for nerds like me. I think it would be interesting for anyone who has wondered about "Schrodi [...]

    23. If you have little to no familiarity with quantum physics, this might be a tough one for you. But even if the concepts are flying over your head (as a couple did for me, despite a fair amount of familiarity with quantum mechanics and particle physics), the history and discussion of the various personalities and relationships will still be worth your time. And, perhaps more importantly, the end--and heart--of the book is concerned less with physics per se than with two competing *philosophical* v [...]

    24. Manjit Kumar takes a very complicated topic, quantum mechanics and breaks down into understandable language. It is just like hearing a really good lecture, you want to know what happens next. This is the history of quantum mechanics from Plank, Eisenstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, Schrodinger, Bell and others that contributed to quantum mechanisms. This is framed with the Solvay conference in 1927. This is a fascinating story of geniuses working on an impossible problem and the lengths they had [...]

    25. I very much enjoyed this book exploring the origins and rollout of the The Copenhagen interpretation; the meaning of quantum mechanics that was largely devised in the years 1925 to 1927 by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. According to the Copenhagen interpretation, physical systems generally do not have definite properties prior to being measured, and quantum mechanics can only predict the probabilities that measurements will produce certain results. The act of measurement affects the system, c [...]

    26. Quantum : Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality The great Einstein-Bohr debate about physical reality is interesting not only to physicists, but also to great many readers interested in understanding the nature. This discussion between Bohr and Einstein over the interpretation of quantum theory began in 1927 at the fifth Solvay Conference. The debate over the ability of quantum theory to describe nature was fueled by many leading physicists of the time, some of whom dir [...]

    27. Considering that this is arguably *the* most difficult subject matter that anyone could hope to write a book about, the author does a fantastic job of marrying the drama of the historical and biographical accounts with the actual scienceThe only problem I have is that the discussion of Bell's theorem and the arguments against hidden variables interpretations were given very little time at the end of the book compared to the detail with which he discussed the black body problem at the beginning. [...]

    28. At the turn of the twentieth century, it appeared that classical physics was reaching an explanation of everything. Electricity and magnetism had been unified, thermodynamics had been explained through kinetic theory and the industrial revolution was proof positive that the physical laws were both practical and accurate.But within the space of a decade, two developments were to turn physics on its head and make things a whole lot more uncertain. One was relativity, the other was the splitting of [...]

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