Summer Reading – Quantum by Manjit Kumar

Dear Commons Colleagues,

I have just returned from a one-week beach vacation on Nantucket.  We had excellent weather and enjoyed the salt water, sand and breezes that are typical on the island.  However, I also read a book, Quantum, by Manjit Kumar.   For anyone interested in the mental mind battles over quantum theory between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, this is a must  The physics behind quantum theory is a bit difficult but even this political science major and education researcher was able to keep up with most of it.    I must say I felt a bit more comfortable with what I read and understood when in the next to last chapter, Kumar quoted the American Nobel laureate, Richard Feynman in 1965, as “ I can safely say that nobody understands  quantum mechanics”.

The real pleasures of this book are the biographical sketches and insights into the great physicists of the 20th century.  They are all here.  In addition to Einstein and Bohr, there are Pauli, Heisenberg, Born, Planck and others.   I highly recommend it for anyone interested in this era.   For me, a challenging but great summer read.


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