Jennie's Reviews > Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science

Uncertainty by David Lindley
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Aug 04, 2009

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Read in May, 2008

Uncertainty> provides a thorough, historical overview of the legendary figures involved in the discovery of quantum mechanics and the bizarre and controversial revelation that the act of observing a particle changes the nature of the thing being observed. This detailed account diagnoses the idiosyncrasies of the key players and recounts the battles and breakthroughs that proved integral to the development and eventual (if decidedly begrudging) acceptance of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle by the the physics icons of the day.

What Uncertainty does not provide is a clarification of quantum theory for the curious and eager non-physicist. While I enjoyed the story, I would have appreciated a greater explanation of some of the theories and discoveries discussed along the way (including greater background, maybe some diagrams, additional footnotes, etc). Even with my strong science background, I found myself grappling with the context on more than one occasion, and only managed to stay engaged by consulting other sources.

For those seeking to demythologize the history of discovery of this complex but intriguing theory, then this book is for you. Myself, I was left intrigued but wanting something more...
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