Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Quantum - Hindustan Times review

A great review of Quantum in Indian newspaper The Hindustan Times:

'That science is a many-splendoured sexy thing is the radiating message that comes out of this fabulous book. Manjit Kumar writes a pulsating narrative about the history of modern science’s most fundamental revolution in Quantum (Hachette, Rs 495). The great debate about the nature of reality — between Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr where they and their ‘two schools of thought’ face each other off reads like Corleone-Tattaglia feud from the Godfather minus the machine guns, plus the atom-smashers.'

'Even in the prologue of this historical journey of science, Kumar knows how to hook the reader. “Paul Ehrenfest was in tears. He had made his decision. Soon he would attend the wee-long gathering where many of those responsible for the quantum revolution would try and understand the meaning of what they had wrought. There he would have to tell his old friend Albert Einstein that he had chosen to side with Niels Bohr.... In a note to Einstein as they sat around the conference table, Ehrenfest scribbled: ‘Don’t laugh! There’s a special section in purgatory for professors of quantum theory, where they will be obliged to listen to lectures on classical physics ten hours every day."'

'Kumar brings lucidity and a sense of drama to what is usually considered by lay readers as an esoteric, bubble-chambered subject. He does this without sacrificing the ‘science of it’ at the altar of readability. The triumphs and the tribulations, the politics and the physics, the humanity and the genius of the protagonists all collide to produce the sort of energy that we usually expect in a Le Carre thriller.'

See the full piece here.

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