Schrodinger's Kittens: and the Search for RealityPaperback
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- Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
- Format: Paperback | 272 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 197mm x 22mm | 252g
- Publication date: 3 April 2003
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1857994027
- ISBN 13: 9781857994025
- Edition statement: Paperback (MMP) Edition
- Illustrations note: line drawings
- Sales rank: 141,465
Following on from his bestseller, SCHRODINGER'S CAT, John Gribbin presents the recent dramatic improvements in experimental techniques that have enabled physicists to formulate and test new theories about the nature of light. He describes these theories not in terms of hard-to-imagine entities like spinning subnuclear particles, but in terms of the fate of two small cats, separated at a tender age and carried to opposite ends of the universe. In this way Gribbin introduces the reader to such new developments as quantum cryptography, through which unbreakable codes can be made, and goes on to possible future developments such as the idea that the 'entanglement' of quantum particles could be a way to build a STAR TREK style teleportation machine.
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John Gribbin has a Ph.D in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge and is now Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex. His books have been translated into many languages and have won awards both in Britain and the United States. He is a consultant to the New Scientist.
By Rui Antunes 06 Apr 2011
This is pretty much a second volume of John Gribbin's 'novel' on Quantum Mechanics. While volume 1, "In Search of Schrodinger's Cat", is a (more or less) chronological description of the development of Quantum Mechanics theory and its 'weird' predictions (and the results that confirmed those weird predictions), this second volume is a fascinating update on the new experiments that confirm that reality is indeed strange (and even stranger than what was described on volume 1) and on how Quantum Mechanics can be interpreted.
I read this book in two days: I could not stop reading it because I wanted to know the outcome of the book. John Gribbin is well aware of that anxiety in knowing the outcome of his book: he tells the reader that he think it is acceptable to go right to the end of the book to know the outcome - as long as we go back and read the entire book. But I think it is indeed better to read the book without jumping to the end, because although the end is indeed great, the whole path is fascinating.
When I reviewed "In Search of Schrodinger's Cat", I gave it (unfairly) only 4 stars, because even though the entire book was great, I felt that the end was too sudden: John Gribbin explained the two main interpretations of Quantum Mechanics (Copenhagen interpretation and the Many-Worlds intepretation) and, very quickly, explained why he preferred the Many-Worlds intepretation (although he was not too crazy about it). I was left with sensation that he should have gone a little more deep on the Many-Worlds intepretation.
Well, this time I'm reviewing "Schrodinger's Kittens" with 5 stars, even though Gribbin does exactly the same thing! After describing new experimental facts and how both Copenhagen interpretation and the Many-Worlds intepretation fall short of providing a real good explanation for all the quantum weirdness, as well as dwelling a bit on the philosophy of science (and the relationship between physics and mathematics), Gribbin describes a new interpretation of quantum mechanics (which is apparently more satisfactory) but only briefly!
So, again we are left with the sensation that we wanted more and that the book ended too abruptly. On the other hand, I think this is Gribbin's style. The advantage of this type of ending, is that you are left with the craving for reading more on the subject - so you go and buy another book (either from the same author or from another one). And I think that's what a good science book should do. If a book ends in such a way that you think that you know it all and need no more information, then it goes against what science is all about: continuous study and progress.
I think "In Search of Schrodinger's Cat" and "Schrodinger's Kittens" gives you a good explanation of quantum mechanics and makes you want to learn more about it.
As for me, I think I'll buy John Gribbin's 'volume 3' of this 'novel': "In Search of the Multiverse"...