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The Age of Entanglement

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Description

In The Age of Entanglement, Louisa Gilder brings to life one of the pivotal debates in twentieth century physics. In 1935, Albert Einstein famously showed that, according to the quantum theory, separated particles could act as if intimately connected–a phenomenon which he derisively described as “spooky action at a distance.” In that same year, Erwin Schrödinger christened this correlation “entanglement.” Yet its existence was mostly ignored until 1964, when the Irish physicist John Bell demonstrated just how strange this entanglement really was. Drawing on the papers, letters, and memoirs of the twentieth century’s greatest physicists, Gilder both humanizes and dramatizes the story by employing the scientists’ own words in imagined face-to-face dialogues. The result is a richly illuminating exploration of one of the most exciting concepts of quantum physics.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Sep 01, 2008 – The story of quantum mechanics and its lively cast of supporters, “heretics” and agnostics has always fascinated science historians and popular science readers. Gilder's version differs from the familiar tale in two important ways. First, by focusing on the problem of entanglement—the supposed “telepathic” connection between particles that a skeptical Einstein called “spooky action-at-a-distance”—Gilder includes more recent developments leading to quantum computing and quantum cryptography. Second, Gilder exercises—not wholly successfully—a daring creative license, drawing excerpts from papers, journals and letters to construct dialogues among the scientists. “Science is rooted in conversations,” Werner Heisenberg once wrote, and Gilder's created conversations reveal personalities as well as thought processes: “Do you really believe the moon is not there if no one looks?” asks Einstein. Less comfortable aspects of the era are also part of Gilder's story, the uncertainty and fear as one scientist after another fled Nazi Germany, the paranoia of the Manhattan Project and the McCarthy era. Gilder's history is rife with curious characters and dramatizes how difficult it was for even these brilliant scientists to grasp the paradigm-changing concepts of quantum science. 20 illus., 15 by the author.
The Age of Entanglement
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Physics
  • Published: Nov 11, 2008
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 464 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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