Monday, 2 August 2010

'A book that is very difficult to close... maybe it's in a state that is both open and closed until you look at it, who knows?'

It was the the title of this review by C.A. Whitfield on that caught my eye. He or she writes:

'This has to be one of the most gripping non-fiction books I have ever read! It reads like a well-organised narrative and there is rarely a dull moment in the entire book, although the author did have plenty to work with. As well as the emergence of this controversial 'quantum physics' the scientists had to compete with the outbreak of two world wars, it was not an easy time to be a theoretical physicist.

The chapters each focus on a different player in the quantum debate so that the reader gets a taste of the characters' backgrounds and their individual work that all led to the great breakthroughs that were made. This means that by the point in the story when all the characters are starting to meet and debate the implications of quantum mechanics, the reader finds they know their personalities and are compelled to find out who comes out on top.

Any physics that is mentioned in the book is explained thoroughly and generally only goes into as much detail as is necessary for the reader to understand the debate. This can get slightly tedious at times for anyone with a background in physics but it does mean that the book is suitable for anyone.

Overall, it is a fascinating and compelling read that find an exciting balance of scientific content, concerning what still is one of the most mysterious areas of physics, and the personal experience of the people involved.'

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