Surfing the Quantum World

ISBN : 9780198808275

Frank S. Levin
312 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Sep 2017
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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 Schrodinger's cat is ever both dead and alive.


1 The Nature of Science
2 The Nature of Light
3 The Reality of Atoms
4 The Quantum Hypothesis
5 The Nuclear Atom
6 Creating Quantum Mechanics
7 Quantum Boxes, Stringed Instruments
8 Quantum Theory
9 The Hydrogen Atom and Its Colorful Photons
10 Spin 12 and the Periodic Table
11 Interference Phenomena: Exploring the Essential Mystery
12 Macroscopic Manifestations of Quantum Mechanics
13 Quantum Tunneling
14 Entanglement and the Elements of Reality
15 Schrodinger's Cat and the Meaning of It All

About the author: 

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.

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