The Quantum Story

By Jim Baggott,

Book cover of The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments

Book description

The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Quantum Story as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Baggott's book is a rich, readable account of quantum physics as viewed at 40 key "moments" in its history. These moments range from the trouble with classical physics in 1900, leading to the notion of discrete "quanta" of energy, to the hunt for the Higgs particle at the CERN accelerator laboratory. Other moments include the invention of Schrodinger's equation, the Uncertainty Principle, and the Standard Model of particle physics. The author is an experienced science writer and former academic scientist.

My first book pick tells the story (and quite a story it is) of how quantum theory came to be and why it is essential for understanding the physical world at its deepest level. Written by a master of popular exposition, this book covers everything from the discovery of the quantum in 1900 to recent discoveries in quantum optics. Baggott is an accomplished scientist as well as award-winning author, enabling him to write what I think of as the best update in the style of a cherished book I was first inspired by in the 1980s: In Search of Schrodinger’s…

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