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The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World #2020

The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World By James Kakalios The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics A Math Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World A highly entertaining exploration of the complicated science of quantum mechanics made easy to understand by way of pop culture As a young science fiction fan physicist James Kakalios marveled at the
  • Title: The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World
  • Author: James Kakalios
  • ISBN: 9781592406722
  • Page: 276
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World By James Kakalios A highly entertaining exploration of the complicated science of quantum mechanics made easy to understand by way of pop culture As a young science fiction fan, physicist James Kakalios marveled at the future predicted in the pulp magazines, comics, and films of the 50s and 60s By 2010, he was sure we d have flying cars and jetpacks But what we ended up with laptop comA highly entertaining exploration of the complicated science of quantum mechanics made easy to understand by way of pop culture As a young science fiction fan, physicist James Kakalios marveled at the future predicted in the pulp magazines, comics, and films of the 50s and 60s By 2010, he was sure we d have flying cars and jetpacks But what we ended up with laptop computers, MRI machines, Blu ray players, and dozens of other real life marvels are even fantastic In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics, he explains why the development of quantum mechanics enabled our amazing present day.In his trademark style, Kakalios uses pop culture examples everything from the graphic novel Watchmen to schlock horror movies of the 50s to elucidate some of the most complex science there is And he brings to life the groundbreaking scientists whose discoveries made our present life possible Along the way, he dispels the misconception that quantum mechanics is unknowable by mere mortals It s not magic it s science
    The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World By James Kakalios
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      James Kakalios

    About "James Kakalios"

    1. James Kakalios

      James Kakalios is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota Known within the scientific community for his work with amorphous semiconductors, granular materials, and 1 f noise, he is known to the general public as the author of the book The Physics of Superheroes, which considers comic book superheroes from the standpoint of fundamental physics.Kakalios, who earned PhD from the University of Chicago in 1985, began his comic book collection as a graduate student as a way to relieve stress At Minnesota, he taught a freshman seminar that focused on the physics of superheroes as a way to motivate students to think about physics This course gained great popularity as an enticing alternative to the typical inclined planes and pulleys of physics.The seminar was a great success, leading to articles in popular magazines including People, lectures on the subject, and publication of The Physics of Superheroes In his talks, favorite examples are the death of Gwen Stacy Spider Man s girlfriend , can Superman jump over tall buildings and what does this tell us about Krypton , the high velocity actions of The Flash, and the shrinking problem of the Atom His analysis of Gwen Stacy s death eventually became integral to the plot of a new Spider Man comic.Kakalios is of the opinion that the most unrealistic aspect of the comic book universe is often the sociology He notes that pedestrians don t usually provide running monologues describing everything around them There is one aspect of the story of the Atom that he does not question, however The Atom begins as a physics professor, who encounters a chunk of white dwarf star and picks it up By a conservative estimate, he is lifting about 5000 metric tons This is not unreasonable, Kakalios will say at the end of his talk, taking off his glasses before walking offstage We physics professors are just that strong He provides content on the DVD of the film Watchmen Under extras, he is filmed discussing the physics of superheroes.Dr Kakalios has been nominated by the University of Minnesota to be one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival s Nifty Fifty Speakers who will speak about his work and career to middle and high school students in October 2010.

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    1. In my undergraduate thesis, I hypothesized that students who focused on understanding the concepts of quantum mechanics would learn than students who instead focused on mathematical formalisms In the Amazing Story, Kakalios demonstrates just how interesting and engaging the ideas of quantum mechanics can be.Without any mind numbing equations, he introduces theories from statistical mechanics, solid state physics, and modern atomic nuclear physics, and shows how they form the basis for many of t [...]


    2. Read this exerpt from chapter five with me In 1958, Jonathan Osterman Ph.D in atomic physicts, Princeton University began his postdoctoral research position at the Gila Flats Research Facility in the Arazona desert There he participated in experiments probing the nature of the intrinsic field The author of this book, Mr James Kakalios goes on to explain that Without the electromagnetic, strong, or weak forces, there is nothing to hold atoms or nuclei together, and all mater would rapidly and vio [...]


    3. James Kakalios is one funny guy Sure, he is a distinguished professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, but he makes no bones about the fact that he is a science fiction nut whose mission at least in this book is to teach the layman how to understand the sometimes dense principles of quantum mechanics using real life examples mixed with a hefty dollop of humor and Buck Rogers atmospherics.Kakalios begins his journey by simultaneously seducing and yet steering [...]


    4. An intro to quantum mechanics with minimal theory, from a compilation of the basic facts Explained that quantum mechanics basically means light acts like a photon machine gun and that energy states, at the atomic level, must occur in discrete energy lumps known as quanta.Early in the book, listed There are three impossible things that we must accept in order to understand quantum mechanics Light is an electromagnetic wave that is actually comprised of discrete packets of energy.Matter is compris [...]


    5. James Kakalios clearly loves comics as much as he loves quantum physics, and pounces on any excuse to lever them into this book These interjections often illustrated with frames or covers from comics take the form of light hearted nerdiness e amazing superpowers displayed by Dr Manhattan are a consequence of his having control over his quantum mechanical wave function.I rolled my eyes, but was happy to indulge these cheerful diversions, even if they re not terribly helpful, as they do leaven the [...]


    6. TLDR Interesting and entertaining book, but hard to grok while driving.I hate to admit that a book written for laymen was outside of my comprehension, but there were quite a few times while listening to this book that I had to be content to pick out little nuggets here and there without understanding the big picture.Perhaps if I wasn t driving and could have actually studied the diagrams and the equations that the author kept referencing instead of keeping my eyes on the road I would have had a [...]


    7. It s no secret what drew me to this book the subtitle is A Math Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World Math free That s for me Sadly, as Kakalios admits in his introduction, it s not really math free, merely math simple as defined by a physicist Still and all, it s an enjoyable read Kakalios is a self admitted nerd and geek, and he draws his examples and illustrations from comic books He s got a very accessible, conversational style, and he s not above a bad pun or two Do I understa [...]


    8. Do you want to learn quantum mechanics but without all the intimidating number crunching This book is for you As for me, I loved it but very much In a weird way, I too disliked the constant references to comic strips While I can see that including Buck Rogers or Superman in a high science book is a certain way to lighten its image, I found these passages to be a distraction In any case, the rest of the book is so rich in great content that I happily lived with the caricatures But don t be fooled [...]




    9. Every human being has the right and should If I may advise try to learn how an otherwise obscure and apparently mystical field for the lay person, quantum mechanics, has shaped and revolutionized the very way we live in communication, transportation and even health and entertainment aspects This book is about that, about the rudiments and often a little than that of the basics of quantum mechanics It is explained by a comic lover physicist who developed enlightening analogies to reach the goal [...]


    10. One of the problems almost anyone has in trying to get even a sliver of understanding of the quantum physical processes by which our universe goes about its merry way is that they involve math and concepts which are often beyond the limits of most people without advanced degrees in the field.Another is that many of the people who write about this kind of science are used to writing for the others who understand the math and the sometimes incredible concepts that quantum mechanics offers at just [...]


    11. There are lots of people who are smart enough to read this book and come away with a solid layman s understanding of Quantum Mechanics Sadly, I m not one of them I ll have to re read this book to understand its details But don t blame physicist James Kakalios for that Although he keeps his promise to exclude all but a smidgen of mathematics from this popularization, his subject is inherently difficult It s a good thing that his prose is conversational, lucid, and often illuminated with a touch o [...]


    12. Table of ContentsSECTION 1 TALES TO ASTONISHCHAPTER ONE Quantum Mechanics in Three Easy StepsCHAPTER TWO Photons at the BeachCHAPTER THREE Fearful SymmetryCHAPTER FOUR It s All Done with MagnetsSECTION 2 CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWNCHAPTER FIVE Wave Functions All the Way DownCHAPTER SIX The Equation That Made the Future CHAPTER SEVEN The Uncertainty Principle Made EasyCHAPTER EIGHT Why So Blue, Dr Manhattan SECTION 3 TALES OF THE ATOMIC KNIGHTSCHAPTER NINE Our Friend, the AtomCHAPTER TEN Radioacti [...]


    13. I can t say I totally understand quantum physics, but as it s not my field I don t have to I can say that books such as this one have helped me get a feeling for some of the basic concepts Quantum physics is understandable, and Kakalios has worked hard to make some of the key concepts clear There are a lot of tough concepts in the book, but it still manages to be entertainment Kakalios is obviously a fan of comics from all their ages, and uses examples and panels from books as divergent as Amazi [...]


    14. I am not giving this book a rating because I only made it halfway before I decided to stop reading I will only make a few observations.First, math free doesn t appear to mean the same thing to a physics professor as it does to me To be fair to the author, he states upfront that the book is not really math free, but that it contains only some simple math There is quite a lot simple math, so to me it added up.Second, although it meant to be straightforward and engaging, I still found some of it qu [...]


    15. This book is written by someone who grew up with pulp scifi and comic books, for people who grew up with pulps and comics His explanations of quantum mechanics are littered with geeky references from before a time when geeky references were a thing Many of them are before my time, so I didn t appreciate them Also, his style at times confuses fact and fantasy the way he describes Doctor Manhattan s origin story from Watchmen , for instance, seems for too long like he s discussing actual scientist [...]


    16. Kaklios has written a pretty good book for the non scientist explaining the basics of quantum mechanics It is, as promised, math free, but at times does get a little deeper than one would imagine in such a book Especially enjoyable were the different ties to golden age comics and pulp fiction that he used to both illustrate concepts and show how prescient some of those authors truly were At times, it seemed that the scientists were trying to keep up with the science fictionists The book is defin [...]


    17. A U of M professor uses comic books and science fiction to try to make quantum mechanics fun and accessible to everyone I m not that into old comics so those parts weren t the fun breaks they should have been, but a discussion of why some science fiction became reality and other SF technology, like personal jet packs, did not our revolution was in information, not energy is readable A few chapters of the book were review from school Still I finished this book and I feel like I probably need yet [...]


    18. It s a tough read if you don t know much about chemistry and physics, even though it says it s math free for example, exactly how DO you get an electron and shoot it through a piece of glass I just have to assume it can be done and not worry about how But there were a lot of interesting facts and historical information and even some humor the geeky science kind It s probably for a science major than your average person interested in physics The Case of the Missing Neutrinos and Other Cosmic Phe [...]


    19. Read this book after reading Physics of Superheroes The material was very dense with one point coming fast after another which made it very hard for me to follow I m new to quantum mechanics fairly new to physics as well which made every point a very new point to try to wrap my head around I think every chapter would have benefited from a point form summary of some sort to help retention Perhaps even pictures The book has pictures, but with the complexity of the material it could of used The s [...]


    20. It s a tough read if you don t know much about chemistry and physics, even though it says it s math free for example, exactly how DO you get an electron and shoot it through a piece of glass I just have to assume it can be done and not worry about how But there were a lot of interesting facts and historical information and even some humor the geeky science kind It s probably for a science major than your average person interested in physics The Case of the Missing Neutrinos and Other Cosmic Phe [...]


    21. Some interesting info and it gave me a cloudy sort of sense, of the most elementary kind, of quantum mechanics Such an indefinable cloud might be entirely apropos for such a subject, but I found the book often tough going for listening during my commute Frequent references in this audio book to illustrations available at a website did not help me whilst behind the wheel.His use of examples from comic books and SF pulp stories was helpful, but, despite the book s subtitle, my thorough dunderheade [...]


    22. I loved the references to pop culture that Kakalios books are littered with Never overrun, and never a shortage of them Reading through, you can tell he s someone who loves nerd dom and is incredibly excited about physics, quantum or otherwise.That being said, this book was a little difficult Not sure if it was because I have no background in quantum physics or the subject is just that difficult to comprehend, but I found myself struggling to get through this at times I did, however, learn a few [...]


    23. This book is extremely well written and relatively accessible considering the subject matter I was looking for a book on quantum mechanics as it relates to current technology, and this book delivered Kakalios does a wonderful job explaining the science and concepts behind the technological innovations that have become part of our everyday lives While there were still many concepts that were a bit over my head, I enjoyed reading this book and think it would be worthwhile to revisit in the future [...]


    24. I read 80 pages before deciding I was going to return it to the library and focus on the rest of my always being replenished library stack This isn t my first rodeo with pop science books on this topic, but this promise of a math free exploration of quantum mechanics somehow ended up being denser and harder to read than the others that I ve read I did learn and understand specifics about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle than I d learned previously, though, so it wasn t completely wasted on [...]


    25. A very readable mostly math free introduction to quantum mechanics, the field of modern physics that tends to send students screaming from college Introduction to Physics classes Kakalios author of the even readable The Physics of Superheroes starts each chapter with science fiction or comic book concepts, then discusses the underlying science that would make some of these work, or how modern technology such as cell phones and DVD players work The concepts can get a little dense, but he discuss [...]


    26. OK I hit the wall with this one Quantum Mechanics, even a popular description, without most of the math, is still very difficult to understand at least for a humanities kind of guy like me Kakalios tried to spice it up with plenty of references to science fiction stories and superhero comics, which certainly helped I thought I didn t really learn retain much, but several recent science articles referring to quantum mechanics that I ve read since this book, have actually made a little sense, so [...]


    27. My son, who is very keen on physics, keeps asking me questions about quantum mechanics that I can t answer Before I get to the stage where I can t even understand the questions, I thought I d give this backgrounder on quantum mechanics a try return return I enjoyed the early chapters, but found the later chapters on the applications of quantum mechanics in technology less interesting I would have preferred on the fundamental scientific and philosophical issues raised by quantum mechanics But th [...]


    28. This is a very accessible qualitative description of quantum mechanics and the real world applications of quantum effects In particular, his description of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is one the clearest I have ever read.He also uses the world of comics and science fiction to illustrate how quantum mechanics would make possible some of the events that happen in the stories.All in all, a surprisingly fun and very interesting read.


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