The ideas and phenomena of the quantum world are strikingly unlike those encountered in our visual world. Surfing the Quantum World shows why and how this is so. It does this via a historical review and a gentle introduction to the fundamental principles of quantum theory, whose core concepts and symbolic representations are used to explain not only "ordinary" microscopic phenomena like the properties of the hydrogen atom and the structure of the Periodic Table of the Elements, but also a variety of mind-bending phenomena. Readers will learn that particles such as electrons and photons can behave like waves, allowing them to be in two places simultaneously, why white dwarf and neutron stars are gigantic quantum objects, how the maximum height of mountains has a quantum basis, and why quantum objects can tunnel through seemingly impenetrable barriers. Included among the various interpretational issues addressed is whether Schrödinger's cat is ever both dead and alive.
A lovely, masterly text on quantum physics for lay people. The book is intellectually honest, explaining the concepts of the quantum world in a way that is 'as simple as possible, but not simpler.' Despite the title, the book does not scratch the surface, but goes deep into the philosophical ideas that make quantum physics so fascinating. It also tells the history of quantum mechanics and does not shy away from giving the reader a taste of the actual mathematics involved. At a time when some of the most successful popular-science books mystify instead of clarify, this is a refreshing return of the spirit of the enlightenment. Intelligent readers will love it! Ulf Leonhardt, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
During his tenure in the Brown University Physics Department, Frank Levin taught undergraduate and graduate physics courses and carried out U. S. government-funded research on nuclear reactions, collision theory, and few-body quantum systems. He edited several books, published widely in refereed journals, was a visiting professor in other countries, lectured in international conferences and summer schools, and founded a sub-division of the American Physical Society, of which he is a Fellow. Since retiring, he has published a quantum theory textbook, a popular science book on cosmology, and has taught science courses for those with neither a math nor a science background.