In Search of Schroedinger's Cat by John Gribbin
11 August 2002


Aah... this is what a book should be like. It tells me something - a lot more than I ever knew before - and entertains me at the same time. The layman's guide to quantum physics may not be everyone's idea of a good read, but it satisfies me, all right.

It starts off with what I used to think was the really big question: the nature of light. Within the first few pages, or so it seemed, Gribbin expertly broke down my classical-physics roots and had me all nice and open-minded and perfectly ready for what followed.

That he did that was essential, as what did follow was absolutely mind-blowing. The particle-wave duality was nothing. Before too long Gribbin had particles in two or more places at once, particles randomly appearing and disappearing in the void, "parallel" universes not being at all parallel and, finally, the entire universe being a vacuum fluctuation.

It was wonderful. I love having my ideas challenged. I love it even more when the challenging ideas are more accurate than my own. Although I don't understand all of what was explained in the book, I now have a much better idea of what quantum physics is all about. Almost more importantly, I have a better idea of what we don't know yet.

Unfortunately the book is rather old, published in the early Eighties. This doesn't affect the accuracy of its information, but it does mean that the more recent discoveries and theories couldn't be included. I have to go somewhere else for those. Perhaps there's a sequel.

The guy is amazingly prolific. In numerous places he includes footnotes to the effect that this idea is explored further in his book [insert title]. I want to read all his other books. Even the biology one(s). (I claim not to like biology.)

This man is using his ability with words to bring a definite improvement to the world. He's teaching science to ordinary people. He does it very well, too. He should be proud.


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