By James Kakalios
In revolutionizing glossy technological know-how, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg by some means overlooked the fascinating plots and photographs of technological know-how fiction and comedian books. to not fear. Kakalios has now remedied that curious lapse. certainly, Kakalios sees kindred forms of inventive bold within the visual appeal of the 1st science-fiction pulp journal within the comparable yr (1926) that Schrödinger and Heisenberg released their paradigm-shaping discoveries. This unbelievable connection among abstruse technology and pop culture brings dollar Rogers, Dr. ny (of the Watchmen), Dick Tracy, and—yes—even Dagwood right into a no-tears foray into the theoretical physics that opened the realm of lasers, computer desktops, DVDs, and cellphones. even though the ebook doesn't really dwell as much as the subtitle’s promise of a “math-free” textual content, readers want not more than uncomplicated algebra to accompany comic-book heroes into well-illustrated factors of quantum packets of sunshine strength, of the wave services of debris, or even of the angular spin inherent in either power and subject. those simple ideas remove darkness from the solid-state physics of semiconductors, the atomic magnetism of MRIs, and the nanotechnology of high-capacity garage batteries. And all of this conceptual heavy lifting comes with unique episodes from DC Comics and H. G. Wells’ fiction. Physics hasn't ever been extra enjoyable!
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Extra info for The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World
For him light was still a continuous electromagnetic wave, like the metaphoric ocean waves washing onto the shore. While he argued that atoms could lose energy only in discrete steps, he was not so bold as to suggest that when they did so the light emitted was also a discrete packet of energy. But as the humorist James Thurber once wrote, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. ” Perhaps Planck’s hesitancy to extend the quantum graininess to the light itself came from the caution of age. He was a grand old man of forty-two, after all, when he developed his quantum hypothesis.
This is, of course, due to the influence of other external forces acting on my automobile, such as air drag and friction between the road and my tires. We do not find the effects of friction strange or mysterious, as we have had a few centuries to accept the concept of dissipative forces. These forces appear “invisible” to us, and it required tremendous insight and abstraction on Newton’s part to imagine what an object’s motion would be like in their absence. This strange idea of drag and frictional forces, no less counterintuitive than anything quantum theorists have suggested, applies to large objects such as people and apples.
Each of these forms of light are outside our normal limits of detection but can be detected with appropriate devices. The weird ideas of Faraday and Maxwell are the basis of our understanding of all electromagnetic waves, without which we would lack radio, television, cell phone communication, and Wi-Fi. If the nature of progress in physics involves the introduction and gradual acceptance of weird ideas, then why does quantum mechanics have a particular reputation for bizarreness? It can be argued that, in part, the weirdness of the ideas underlying quantum mechanics is a consequence of their unfamiliarity.
The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World by James Kakalios