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Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) John Polkinghorne

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 110mm x 172mm x 8mm | 118g
  • Publication date: 29 August 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192802526
  • ISBN 13: 9780192802521
  • Illustrations note: numerous figures
  • Sales rank: 38,169

Product description

Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare. Uncertainty, probabilistic physics, complementarity, the problematic character of measurement, and decoherence are among the many topics discussed. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Author information

John Polkinghorne was from 1968 to 1979 Professor of Mathematical Physics in the University of Cambridge, and later president of Queen's College. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was knighted in 1997. His many books include The Quantum World (1986), The Faith of a Physicist (1994), and Science and Theology (1998).

Review quote

John Polkinghorne has brought to life that most mysterious and perplexing of revolutions in understanding and has made its mysteries accessible. Peter Atkins, University of Oxford John Polkinghorne has produced an excellent piece of work. ... Many authors of "popular" books on modern physics have the regrettable habit of mixing science fact with science fiction. Polkinghorne never does that: he always allows the truth to stand by itself and show its own fascination. ... I think that this is an excellent contribution to the literature on quantum theory for a general audience. Chris Isham, Imperial College, London This splendid book explains both the triumph and the mystery that is quantum theory. It is a triumph because of its towering mathematical structure, and amazing empirical accuracy. It is a mystery because of the conundrums about how to interpret it. John Polkinghorne, himself a distinguished quantum physicist, is a sure guide to all of this: he celebrates the successes of the theory, and shows unfailingly good judgement about the conundrums. Jeremy Butterfield, University of Oxford

Table of contents

1. Classical cracks ; 2. The light dawns ; 3. Darkening Perplexities ; 4. Further developments ; 5. Togetherness ; 6. Lessons and meanings