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The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

Written by Louisa Gilder

Narrated by Walter Dixon


The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

Written by Louisa Gilder

Narrated by Walter Dixon

ratings:
5/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 20, 2009
ISBN:
9781596594319
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A BRILLIANTLY ORIGINAL and richly illuminating exploration of entanglement, the seemingly telepathic communication between two separated particles—one of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics.



In 1935, in what would become the most cited of all of his papers, Albert Einstein showed that quantum mechanics predicted such a correlation, which he dubbed “spooky action at a distance.” In that same year, Erwin Schrödinger christened this spooky correlation “entanglement.” Yet its existence wasn’t firmly established until 1964, in a groundbreaking paper by the Irish physicist John Bell. What happened during those years and what has happened since to refine the understanding of this phenomenon is the fascinating story told here.



We move from a coffee shop in Zurich, where Einstein and Max von Laue discuss the madness of quantum theory, to a bar in Brazil, as David Bohm and Richard Feynman chat over cervejas. We travel to the campuses of American universities—from J. Robert Oppenheimer’s Berkeley to the Princeton of Einstein and Bohm to Bell’s Stanford sabbatical—and we visit centers of European physics: Copenhagen, home to Bohr’s famous institute, and Munich, where Werner Heisenberg and Wolfgang Pauli picnic on cheese and heady discussions of electron orbits.



Drawing on the papers, letters, and memoirs of the twentieth century’s greatest physicists, Louisa Gilder both humanizes and dramatizes the story by employing their own words in imagined face-to-face dialogues. Here are Bohr and Einstein clashing, and Heisenberg and Pauli deciding which mysteries to pursue. We see Schrödinger and Louis de Broglie pave the way for Bell, whose work here is given a long-overdue revisiting. And with his characteristic matter-of-fact eloquence, Richard Feynman challenges his contemporaries to make something of this entanglement.



In this stunning debut, Gilder has found a wholly original way of bringing to life a tale of physics in progress, making clear that the keys to many of its riddles lie in the personalities, partisanship, and passions of the physicists themselves.
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 20, 2009
ISBN:
9781596594319
Format:
Audiobook

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  • (5/5)
    While quantum mechanics has been able to answer many practical questions about the structure and bonding of atoms, molecules, nuclei, and even subatomic particles, it still does not adequately yield its own ultimate meaning. The ability of an electron to be in more than one place at once, to appear on both sides of a node, and to have no defined boundary are only the "down payments" for the mysteries of quantum mechanics, about which even its developers were conflicted. I was fortunate to have heard a David Mermin lecture based on his famous Physics Today (1985 38(4) 38) article, "Is the Moon There When Nobody Looks?", an understandable introduction to the disturbing consequences of what is called "entanglement" that is still well worth reading. The first part of Gilder's description of modern quantum mechanics does not break much new ground, but this reader tuned in when she began to describe David Bohm and his "hidden variables" attempts to find a deterministic interpretation. She builds her history through real correspondence and imagined but plausible conversations between the likes of J. M. Jauch, John Bell and interviews with Nicolas Gisin and Anton Zeilinger. She may have filled some gaps with conversations that never occurred, but through that, she has made clear the disturbing truth about the meaning of quantum mechanics.
  • (5/5)
    A book that in an amazing way ties the lives of the scientists to their work. Very readable.
  • (4/5)
    A very exciting and interesting book, about quantum physics and how it basic principals are now being challeged. Enisten was right, there was something flawed about it. The challege started at the boarder between classical physics and quantum physics, what is this boarder and why is it there, how does it work.