Gilmore, Alice in Quantumland
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Step right up! Welcome to Quantumland! Fall into an atom and dodge electrons! See the amazing Emperor think his clothes into existence! Dance with the Three Quark Brothers at the Particle MASSquerade! An you need is a sense of adventure-no mathematics required! Alice in Quantumland is Robert Gilmore’s amazing fantasy ride through the landscape of quantum physics-the interrelated group of theories on the nature of subatomic particles that modern scientists use to, explain the physical universe. Through the allegory of Alice’s adventures and encounters, Gilmore makes the essential features of the quantum world clear and accessible. It is a thrilling introduction to some essential, often difficult-to-grasp concepts about the world we inhabit. You’ve heard about Alice’s adventures through the looking glass. Well, Alice is about to embark on another amazing journey. She’s going to shrink again-to the size of a nuclear particle-but she’s not going down the rabbit hole. She’s headed for Quantumland. And what is Quantumland? Think of it as an intellectual amusement park smaller than an atom, where every ride, game, and attraction demonstrates a different aspect of quantum mechanics-the often baffling, always intriguing theoretical framework that seems to provide the most accurate explanations of the way things arc in the physical world. In this masterful blend of fantasy and science, Robert Gilmore uses the allegory of Alice’s travels to make the uncertainty principle, Pauli’s principle, high-energy particle physics, and other crucial parts of quantum theory accessible and exciting. Once in Quantumland, Alice experiences various quantum effects (at one point going backward in time and running into herself). She also meets a number of strange characters who help her (and you) understand the nature of the quantum world. There is: * the Uncertain Accountant, whose attempts to balance the books at the Heisenberg Energy Bank arc being flummoxed by energy fluctuations; * the State Agent, Who shows Alice how atoms can bc two places at once; * the Three Quark Brothers, who take Alice around the floor in one of the Castle Rutherford’s famous Collider Dances; * the Emperor, whose conscious mind makes his new clothes real; and more. Cleverly conceived and written, and delightfully illustrated, Alice in Quantumland brings some crucial yet often elusive scientific concepts within reach of the everyday reader. You don’t need to know much about mathematics to follow our heroine’s escapades. There is only one equation in the entire book! All you need is a taste for intellectual adventure and healthy curiosity about the world around us.
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