Einstein's dice and Schrödinger's cat : how two great minds battled quantum randomness to create a unified theory of physics
(Book)

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Published:
New York : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Group, [2015].
Format:
Book
Physical Desc:
x, 271 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Status:
Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction
530.133 H1956e
Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
530.133 H1956e
Description
"A fascinating and thought-provoking story, one that sheds light on the origins of... the current challenging situation in physics." --Wall Street Journal When the fuzzy indeterminacy of quantum mechanics overthrew the orderly world of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger were at the forefront of the revolution. Neither man was ever satisfied with the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, however, and both rebelled against what they considered the most preposterous aspect of quantum mechanics: its randomness. Einstein famously quipped that God does not play dice with the universe, and Schrödinger constructed his famous fable of a cat that was neither alive nor dead not to explain quantum mechanics but to highlight the apparent absurdity of a theory gone wrong. But these two giants did more than just criticize: they fought back, seeking a Theory of Everything that would make the universe seem sensible again. In Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat , physicist Paul Halpern tells the little-known story of how Einstein and Schrödinger searched, first as collaborators and then as competitors, for a theory that transcended quantum weirdness. This story of their quest-which ultimately failed-provides readers with new insights into the history of physics and the lives and work of two scientists whose obsessions drove its progress. Today, much of modern physics remains focused on the search for a Theory of Everything. As Halpern explains, the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson makes the Standard Model-the closest thing we have to a unified theory- nearly complete. And while Einstein and Schrödinger failed in their attempt to explain everything in the cosmos through pure geometry, the development of string theory has, in its own quantum way, brought this idea back into vogue. As in so many things, even when they werewrong, Einstein and Schrödinger couldn't help but get a great deal right.
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Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction
530.133 H1956e
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530.133 H1956e
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Language:
English
ISBN:
9780465075713, 0465075711

Notes

Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-240) and index.
Description
Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger were friends and comrades-in-arms against what they considered the most preposterous aspects of quantum physics: its indeterminacy. Einstein famously quipped that God does not play dice with the universe, and Schrodinger is equally well known for his thought experiment about the cat in the box who ends up spread out in a probabilistic state, neither wholly alive nor wholly dead. Both of these famous images arose from these two men's dissatisfaction with quantum weirdness and with their assertion that underneath it all, there must be some essentially deterministic world. Even though it was Einstein's own theories that made quantum mechanics possible, both he and Schrodinger could not bear the idea that the universe was, at its most fundamental level, random. As the Second World War raged, both men struggled to produce a theory that would describe in full the universe's ultimate design, first as collaborators, then as competitors. They both ultimately failed in their search for a Grand Unified Theory--not only because quantum mechanics is true, but because Einstein and Schrodinger were also missing a key component: of the four forces we recognize today (gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force, and the strong force), only gravity and electromagnetism were known at the time. Despite their failures, though, much of modern physics remains focused on the search for a Grand Unified Theory. As Halpern explains, the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson makes the Standard Model--the closest thing we have to a unified theory--nearly complete. And while Einstein and Schrodinger tried and failed to explain everything in the cosmos through pure geometry, the development of string theory has, in its own quantum way, brought this idea back into vogue. As in so many things, even when he was wrong, Einstein couldn't help but be right.
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Halpern, P. (2015). Einstein's dice and Schrödinger's cat: how two great minds battled quantum randomness to create a unified theory of physics. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Halpern, Paul, 1961-. 2015. Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Halpern, Paul, 1961-, Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Halpern, Paul. Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Group, 2015. Print.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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