Bruce Rosenblum & Fed Kuttner:
QUANTUM ENIGMA (Oxford Univ Press, 2006)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

This is a wonderful introduction to Quantum Theory. Unlike the more technical introductions, that basically present the theory in a top-down fashion, this book proceeds gradually the way the discoverers themselves did. The book follows the reasoning and the chronology of the founders of Quantum Theory, from Planck's early intuition that Nature prefers discrete quantities ("quanta") to Schroedinger's self-criticism of the cat that is both alive and dead to the controversy if the EPR experiment.

The book also offers a "modern" view of the whole story, focusing for example on John Bell (usually considered only a footnote in the story of science) and especially focusing on the role of consciousness (that normally does not even get a footnote), while showing how Quantum Theory has changed the very scope and meaning of science (compared with Galileo's and Newton's science).

The concepts are relatively easy to understand and the coverage is almost complete.

The last chapters focus on the authors' main interest: the fact that Quantum Physics seems provides a role for human consciousness. While not offering a personal interpretation, they briefly summarize the various interpretations of Quantum Physics. They do occasionally interject in the narrative, for example asking what is it in the human brain that makes Quantum Physics look so odd? That is actually a powerful point: maybe there is nothing to interpret in Quantum Physics, but there is something to interpret in the human brain. Maybe another brain would not find Quantum Physics so odd, it would in fact see the world exactly the way Quantum Physics presents it (with objects in multiple positions at the same time and with everything in the universe connected all the time). It is just the human brain that cannot do some things, just like it cannot hear or see frequencies that other animals hear.

At the very end they also point out a philosophical fact: Copernicus shocked the human race by telling us that we are not at the center of the world; Quantum Physics is telling us that we (our very consciousness) is at the center of the world. We are gods who create universes.

The book's website

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