Quantum Physics Illusion or Reality?

Original title: Quantum Physics Illusion or Reality?

Title of this edition: Quantum Physics.

Author: Alastair Rae.

Gender: Science divulgation.

Saga: Quantum physics.

Editorial: Cambridge University Press.

Edition year: 2, 2012.

Prizes: …

Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]:Basically this book start explaining a little bit typical photon experiments. The experiments consist on polarised photons and polariser detectors. Combining all together the most basic results on quantum mechanics can be exposed, like the particle/wave behaviour, the superposition principle, the uncertainty principle. Playing with these things the author expose the interpretation problems that arise examining the experiments and what are the various theories suggested to deal with them. At the end the main result is that quantum mechanics works and whatever interpretation you choose works because there is not yet any way of choosing among them.

Personal Review:  I brought this book as a gift for a friend, but I couldn’t resist reading it myself, so I manage to get an electronic copy of it. It’s not my first quantum mechanics book and not my first divulgation one in the topic, so I can say a few things about it. First of all, the idea of using photons and polarization as a guide for developing ideas is kind of common, but in this book they relay completely on it. This is something good and bad at the same time. It makes the book complete, but at the same time if you struggle to understand the experiments there is no alternative to understand the book and you fail miserably reading it. At the same time I have to say that the ideas are develop almost from zero and can be easily followed.

The book is divided in two parts. The first one is focused on the experiments and their results. The second part is devoted to the interpretation of the results and the many theories proposed. Basically, the interpretations of quantum mechanics. I like that part because it present all the theories in an equal basis and that is different from other books because other authors tend to focus more on the theory they consider correct. In this case, as Alastair says, there is no correct theory yet and the decision of which one to follow is a quite personal opinion on what theory is simpler and more beautiful.

I general I will say that this is a good book to complement with a standard quantum mechanics course. Is a little bit more than divulgation and a little bit less than a course.

My next stop…



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