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Absolutely Small : How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World
by Michael D. Fayer

Overview - Physics is a complex, even daunting topic, but it is also deeply satisfying--even thrilling. And liberated from its mathematical underpinnings, physics suddenly becomes accessible to anyone with the curiosity and imagination to explore its beauty.  Read more...

 
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More About Absolutely Small by Michael D. Fayer
 
 
 
Overview
Physics is a complex, even daunting topic, but it is also deeply satisfying--even thrilling. And liberated from its mathematical underpinnings, physics suddenly becomes accessible to anyone with the curiosity and imagination to explore its beauty. Science without math? It's not that unusual. For example, we can understand the concept of gravity without solving a single equation. So for all those who may have pondered what makes blueberries blue and strawberries red; for those who have wondered if sound really travels in waves; and why light behaves so differently from any other phenomenon in the universe, it's all a matter of quantum physics. "Absolutely Small "presents (and demystifies) the world of quantum science like no book before. It explores scientific concepts--from particles of light, to probability, to states of matter, to what makes greenhouse gases bad--in considerable depth, but using examples from the everyday world. Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, "Absolutely Small" develops the reader's intuition for the very nature of things at their most basic and intriguing levels.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780814414880
  • ISBN-10: 0814414885
  • Publisher: AMACOM/American Management Association
  • Publish Date: June 2010
  • Page Count: 383
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-NA


Related Categories

Books > Science > Physics - Quantum Theory
Books > Science > Physics - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-07-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

How a photon can be in two places at once is just one of the conundrums of quantum physics that Fayer (Elements of Quantum Mechanics) helps to unravel. The Stanford University Professor of Chemistry provides a roadmap for non-scientific readers who wish to understand the subject but lack advanced mathematical training. Fayer's belief that our everyday experiences "teach us to think in terms of classical physics" helps him easily breach the leap from playing ball to understanding how the earth orbits the sun. But because what we learn as children "prepares us to view nature in a manner that is fundamentally wrong," most people are at a loss when probing seemingly simple questions: "Why are cherries red and blueberries blue?" While the large objects treated in classical physics can be measured without appreciable disturbance, the same is not true at the quantum level. We may take the color and size of fruit for granted, but Fayer illustrates the ways in which "the natural world is driven by quantum phenomena" with a serious, accessible treatment of a complex and fascinating subject. (June)

 
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