From the Inside Flap
Our intuition about how things should behave is usually right in the everyday world. We see the baseball soar in the air, arc, drop, and lie stationary on the ground. Through data gathered by our senses and basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics, the motion of a ball makes perfect sense. But enter the world of the tiniest particles on earth--the motion of electrons, the shapes of molecules--and everything we think we know about the world radically changes. To understand what's really happening in the world around us, to comprehend the mysterious, counterintuitive science of the small, we must take a quantum theory view of nature. Like no other book before it, "Absolutely Small" makes the inherently challenging field of quantum theory understandable to nonscientists, without oversimplifying and without bogging down in complicated math. Written by an award-winning professor at Stanford University, the book uses clear explanations, real-world examples, and diagrams instead of dense equations to help you understand: Why strawberries are red and blueberries are blue How particles can change from "mixed states" to "pure states" based solely on observation How a single photon can be in two places at the same time Why quantum matter sometimes acts like particles, and other times like waves Why a piece of metal will glow red when it is hot, and turn blue when it's even hotter What makes salt dissolve in water, while oil does not, and much more In the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Lewis Thomas, but without the rigorous mathematical requirements, "Absolutely Small" demystifies the fascinating realm of quantum physics and chemistry, complete with compelling accounts of the scientists and experiments that helped form our current understanding of quantum matter. Challenging without being intimidating, accessible but not condescending, "Absolutely Small" develops your intuition for the nature of things at their smallest and most intriguing level. Michael D. Fayer, Ph.D., is the David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has won major prizes and honors in the fields of physics, chemistry, and molecular spectroscopy, and is the author of "Elements of Quantum Mechanics."
..". illustrates the ways in which 'the natural world is driven by quantum phenomena' with a serious, accessible treatment of a complex and fascinating subject."" --Publishers Weekly"
..".appeal to anyone with a curious mind who has ever wondered what all the quantum mechanics fuss is about, and to those who simply want to understand the everyday world." --"ForeWord"
..".interested in physics and the fundamental understanding of many pheonomena explained in laymen's terms, this book wil be the most valuable asset you will ever read." --"IEEE Electrical Insulation "
..".lively with amusing and useful examples, analogies, and descriptions of scientists and experiments...introduce nonscientists to quantum mechanics...useful for advanced graduate students and professional scientists." "--Choice"
..".one of the most intriguing books about quantum science currently on the market...must-read for those who want to learn more about quantum theory." "--NSTA Recommends"
"Favouring everyday examples over formulae, he makes quantum mechanics palatable, from wave-particle duality to the uncertainty principle... book provides a useful overview." "--Nature Magazine"
"Finally, someone caught up with the importance of explaining Quantum Theory in layman's terms...does a marvelous job at uniting the various aspects of matter and energy." "--Sacramento Book Review"
"From why everyday mysteries have quantum roots to how to understand quantum mechanics without the math... an invaluable guide..." --"The Midwest Book Review"