Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World

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9780814414880: Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World

Physics is a complex, even daunting topic, but it is also deeply satisfying--even thrilling. And liberated from its mathematical underpinnings, physics suddenly becomes accessible to anyone with the curiosity and imagination to explore its beauty. Science without math? It's not that unusual. For example, we can understand the concept of gravity without solving a single equation. So for all those who may have pondered what makes blueberries blue and strawberries red; for those who have wondered if sound really travels in waves; and why light behaves so differently from any other phenomenon in the universe, it's all a matter of quantum physics. "Absolutely Small "presents (and demystifies) the world of quantum science like no book before. It explores scientific concepts--from particles of light, to probability, to states of matter, to what makes greenhouse gases bad--in considerable depth, but using examples from the everyday world. Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, "Absolutely Small" develops the reader's intuition for the very nature of things at their most basic and intriguing levels.

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From the Back Cover:

What gives objects their color? Why does copper conduct electricity, but glass does not? Why is carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas while oxygen and nitrogen are not? These are basic questions about how our world works that can’t be answered with the usual explanations.

Instead, we must turn to the fascinating field of quantum theory. Absolutely Small investigates the counterintuitive world of the tiniest particles on earth—photons, electrons, atoms, and molecules—that act nothing like objects in our human-sized world and actually upend conventional notions of physics.

Absolutely Small opens up this extraordinary field to nonscientists, as it presents complex ideas without the complex equations. You’ll finally “get it” about quantum physics and quantum chemistry, now made accessible and understandable like never before—the math-drenched bestsellers of Stephen Hawking don’t even come close!

Advance Praise for Absolutely Small

“There are a few books that I always keep near at hand, and constantly come back to. The Feynman Lectures on Physics and Dirac’s classic textbook on quantum mechanics are among them. Michael Fayer’s wonderful new book, Absolutely Small, is about to join them. Whether you are a scientist or just curious about how the world works, this is the book for you.” — Leonard Susskind, Professor of Physics, Stanford University; author of The Black Hole War: My Battle With Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics (Professor Susskind is widely regarded as one of the fathers of string theory.)

Absolutely Small by Professor Michael Fayer provides us with a clear way of visualizing the strange world of the quantum, and provides a deep understanding of many of its bizarre features; features that often on first encounter seem to defy our everyday experiences.”— Richard N. Zare, Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University; and Chairman, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University (Professor Zare is renowned for his research in the area of laser chemistry, resulting in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level. He has received numerous honors and awards.)

“Most lay readers think of the world of quantum mechanics as abstruse stuff accessible only to highly trained scientists. In this absolutely terrific book, Michael Fayer seemingly breaks one of the iron laws of science by making this material both lively and accessible.”— Richard A. Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, The University of Chicago

From the Inside Flap:

Our intuition about how things should behave is usually right in the everyday world. We see the baseball soar in the air, arc, drop, and lie stationary on the ground. Through data gathered by our senses and basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics, the motion of a ball makes perfect sense.

But enter the world of the tiniest particles on earth—the motion of electrons, the shapes of molecules—and everything we think we know about the world radically changes. To understand what’s really happening in the world around us, to comprehend the mysterious, counterintuitive science of the small, we must take a quantum theory view of nature.

Like no other book before it, Absolutely Small makes the inherently challenging field of quantum theory understandable to nonscientists, without oversimplifying and without bogging down in complicated math. Written by an award-winning professor at Stanford University, the book uses clear explanations, real-world examples, and diagrams instead of dense equations to help you understand:

Why strawberries are red and blueberries are blue

How particles can change from “mixed states” to “pure states” based solely on observation

How a single photon can be in two places at the same time

Why quantum matter sometimes acts like particles, and other times like waves

Why a piece of metal will glow red when it is hot, and turn blue when it’s even hotter

What makes salt dissolve in water, while oil does not, and much more

In the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Lewis Thomas, but without the rigorous mathematical requirements, Absolutely Small demystifies the fascinating realm of quantum physics and chemistry, complete with compelling accounts of the scientists and experiments that helped form our current understanding of quantum matter.

Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, Absolutely Small develops your intuition for the nature of things at their smallest and most intriguing level.

Michael D. Fayer, Ph.D., is the David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has won major prizes and honors in the fields of physics, chemistry, and molecular spectroscopy, and is the author of Elements of Quantum Mechanics.

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Descripción Amacom, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Physics is a complex, even daunting topic, but it is also deeply satisfying even thrilling. And liberated from its mathematical underpinnings, physics suddenly becomes accessible to anyone with the curiosity and imagination to explore its beauty. Science without math? It s not that unusual. For example, we can understand the concept of gravity without solving a single equation. So for all those who may have pondered what makes blueberries blue and strawberries red; for those who have wondered if sound really travels in waves; and why light behaves so differently from any other phenomenon in the universe, it s all a matter of quantum physics. Absolutely Small presents (and demystifies) the world of quantum science like no book before. It explores scientific concepts from particles of light, to probability, to states of matter, to what makes greenhouse gases bad in considerable depth, but using examples from the everyday world. Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, Absolutely Small develops the reader s intuition for the very nature of things at their most basic and intriguing levels. Nº de ref. de la librería AA39780814414880

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Descripción Amacom, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Physics is a complex, even daunting topic, but it is also deeply satisfying even thrilling. And liberated from its mathematical underpinnings, physics suddenly becomes accessible to anyone with the curiosity and imagination to explore its beauty. Science without math? It s not that unusual. For example, we can understand the concept of gravity without solving a single equation. So for all those who may have pondered what makes blueberries blue and strawberries red; for those who have wondered if sound really travels in waves; and why light behaves so differently from any other phenomenon in the universe, it s all a matter of quantum physics. Absolutely Small presents (and demystifies) the world of quantum science like no book before. It explores scientific concepts from particles of light, to probability, to states of matter, to what makes greenhouse gases bad in considerable depth, but using examples from the everyday world. Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, Absolutely Small develops the reader s intuition for the very nature of things at their most basic and intriguing levels. Nº de ref. de la librería AA39780814414880

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