Quantum: Book summary and reviews of Quantum by Manjit Kumar

Quantum

Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

by Manjit Kumar

Quantum by Manjit Kumar X
Quantum by Manjit Kumar
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Book Summary

Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you weren’t shocked by quantum theory, you didn’t really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution, focusing on the central conflict between Einstein and Bohr over the nature of reality and the soul of science. This revelatory book takes a close look at the golden age of physics, the brilliant young minds at its core—and how an idea ignited the greatest intellectual debate of the twentieth century.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With physics undergoing another revolution today, Kumar reminds us of a time when science turned the universe upside down." - Publishers Weekly

"Expertly delineates complex scientific issues in nontechnical language, using telling detail to weave together personal, political and scientific elements." - Kirkus Reviews

"This is especially good for lay readers who would enjoy an excellent story about the long struggle of scientists to understand an important field of modern science." - Library Journal

A super-collider of a book, shaking together an exotic cocktail of free-thinking physicists, tracing their chaotic interactions and seeing what God-particles and black holes fly up out of the maelstrom… Provides probably the most lucid and detailed intellectual history ever written of a body of theory that makes other scientific revolutions look limp-wristed by comparison. - The Independent (UK)

"As a fairly innumerate non-scientist, I am perversely drawn to books about maths and science and usually abandon them with ignorance intact. However, Quantum by Manjit Kumar … is so well written that I now feel I’ve more or less got particle physics sussed. Quantum transcends genre—it is historical, scientific, biographical, philosophical. - The Guardian (UK)

"Kumar brings lucidity and a sense of drama to what is usually considered by lay readers as an esoteric, bubble-chambered subject. He does this without sacrificing the ‘science of it’ at the altar of readability. The triumphs and the tribulations, the politics and the physics, the humanity and the genius of the protagonists all collide to produce the sort of energy that we usually expect in a Le Carre thriller." - The Hindustan Times (India)

"Kumar is an accomplished writer who knows how to separate the excitement of the chase from the sometimes impenetrable mathematics." - Financial Times (UK)

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Author Information

Manjit Kumar

Manjit Kumar was the founding editor of Prometheus, an arts and sciences journal. He has written and reviewed for various publications, including The Guardian, and is a consulting science editor at Wired UK. He lives in London.

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