The Age of Entanglement

By Louisa Gilder,

Book cover of The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

Book description

In The Age of Entanglement, Louisa Gilder brings to life one of the pivotal debates in twentieth century physics. In 1935, Albert Einstein famously showed that, according to the quantum theory, separated particles could act as if intimately connected–a phenomenon which he derisively described as “spooky action at a distance.”…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Age of Entanglement as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Guilder uses historical vignettes to describe how entanglement came to be regarded as a – or perhaps thecentral pillar of quantum physics. For example, we share a streetcar ride through Copenhagen in 1923 with Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and Arnold Sommerfeld. Although we don't know precisely what they discussed, Guilder indicates what they probably discussed based on quotations from letters and other evidence. Thus, the book reads like a historical novel. It centers on the distant correlations, dubbed (by Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger) "spooky action at a distance." Since 1964, physicists have shown this astonishing phenomenon, now called…

This delightful book tells the story of the development of quantum entanglement, the mysterious link that can connect distant objects without anything carrying information from one to the other. As a physicist specializing in quantum mechanics, I recommend that book because, in addition to some history, it nicely illustrated how physics is done by professional researchers.

A friend gave me a copy of this extraordinary history of quantum entanglement, a key concept in physics. The story runs from the origins of the early 20th century to the 21st when researchers experimentally proved that the mysterious “influence” of one particle on a distant companion accurately described reality. Drawing from letters, essays, and recollections, Gilder recreates or invents conversations. We eavesdrop on physicists like Einstein and Bohr on casual walks or over coffee. The technique is so compelling the reader forgets these conversations never happened. Physicists both famous and little-known come alive when they argue and share ideas.…

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