We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Cover

The Quantum Story

A history in 40 moments

Jim Baggott

April 2016

ISBN: 9780198784777

496 pages
Paperback
234x153mm

Price: £12.99

Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. The pursuit of its implications has been the driving motivation of physicists for 100 years. Jim Baggott traces the story, the personalities and the rivalries, through 40 turning-point moments.

Share:

Description

Utterly beautiful. Profoundly disconcerting. Quantum theory is quite simply the most successful account of the physical universe ever devised. The pursuit of its implications has been the driving motivation of physicists for 100 years. Jim Baggott traces the story, the personalities and the rivalries, through 40 turning-point moments.

  • The century-long story of the greatest theory of modern physics
  • Captures the wonderment of the quest, and the personal rivalries involved
  • Tells the story through forty turning-point developments and discoveries
  • From Einstein, Niels Bohr, and Heisenberg, right up to the Large Hadron Collider - the first book to tell the whole Quantum story
  • Includes an updated Epilogue considering the Quantum Story up to today

About the Author(s)

Jim Baggott, Freelance science writer

Jim Baggott is a freelance science writer. He was a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Reading but left to work with Shell International Petroleum Company and then as an independent business consultant and trainer. His many books include Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation (OUP, 2015), Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the 'God Particle' (OUP, 2012), and A Beginner's Guide to Reality (Penguin, 2005).

Table of Contents

    Part I: Quantum in Action
    1:An Act of Desperation: Berlin 1900
    2:Independent Energy Quanta: Bern 1905
    3:Quantum Numbers and Quantum Jumps: Manchester 1913
    4:Wave-particle Duality: Paris 1923
    5:Strangely Beautiful Interior: Helgoland 1925
    6:A Late Erotic Outburst: Swiss Alps 1925
    7:The Self-rotating Electron: Leiden 1925
    Part II: Quantum Probability and Quantum Uncertainty
    8:Quantum Probability: Göttingen 1926
    9:The Whole Idea of Quantum Jumps Necessarily Leads to Nonsense: Copenhagen 1926
    10:Uncertainty Principle: Copenhagen 1927
    11:The Copenhagen Interpretation: Copenhagen 1927
    12:Complementarity: Lake Como 1927
    Part III: Quantum Interpretation
    13:Gedankenexperiment: Brussels 1927
    14:An Absolute Wonder: Cambridge 1927
    15:A Certain Unreasonableness: Brussels 1930
    16:A Bolt from the Blue: Copenhagen 1935
    17:The Paradox of Schrödinger's Cat: Oxford 1935
    Part IV: Quantum Fields
    18:Crisis: Shelter Island 1947
    19:Quantum Electrodynamics: Oldstone 1949
    20:Gauge Symmetry and Gauge Theories: Princeton 1954
    21:Three Quarks for Muster Mark: Pasadena 1963
    22:The Higgs Mechanism: Edinburgh 1965
    Part V: Quantum Particles
    23:Electro-weak Unification: Harvard 1967
    24:Deep Inelastic Scattering: Stanford Linear Accelerator Center 1967
    25:Asymptotic Freedom and Quantum Chromodynamics: Harvard 1973
    26:The November Revolution: Brookhaven and SLAC 1974
    27:The W and Z Bosons: CERN 1983
    28:Completing the Picture: Fermilab 1994
    Part VI: Quantum Reality
    29:Hidden Variables: Princeton 1951
    30:Bell's Theorem: Geneva 1964
    31:The Aspect Experiments: Paris 1982
    32:Beating the Uncertainty Principle: Albuquerque 1991
    33:Three-photon GHZ States: Vienna 2000
    34:Reality, Whether Local or Not: Vienna 2007
    Part VII: Quantum Gravity
    35:That Damned Equation: Princeton 1967
    36:The First Superstring Revolution: Aspen 1984
    37:The Quantum Structure of Space: Santa Barbara 1986
    38:No Consistency Without Contingency: Durham 1995
    39:The Second Superstring Revolution: Los Angeles 1995
    40:Resolving the Impasse: CERN 2008
    Epilogue
    Quantum Timeline
    Name Index
    Subject Index

Reviews

Review from previous edition Review from previous edition A highly original and engaging account of the most important theory in science. - Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Baggott's survey of the history of the emergence of the twentieth century's most enigmatic but successful theory is a delight to read. It is clear, accessible, engaging, informative, and thorough. It illuminates an important, revolutionary era of modern science and the varied personalities behind it. - Peter Atkins

[A] wonderful histiry of the scientists and ideas behind quantum mechanics... The basic history behind the quantum revolution is well known, but no one has told it in quite such a compellingly human and thematically seamless way. - Publishers Weekly

Jim Baggott's inspired — and inspiring — idea of presenting the history of quantum physics in terms of 40 key moments works both an an introduction for the uninitiated and as a refresher for anyone who thinks they know the story. Even familiar stories come up fresh in these juxtapositions. Great to dip in to! - John Gribbin

an enjoyable addition to the overall quantum story - Chemistry World

A truly exceptional book - CERN Courier

An accessible and informative history - Science magazine

gripping story - Flipside Magazine

Related Titles