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How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,651 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
When physics professor Chad Orzel went to the pound to adopt a dog, he never imagined Emmy. She wasn't just a friendly mutt who needed a home; she was a talking dog with an active interest in what her new owner did for a living and how it could work for her.

Soon Emmy was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: cha
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ebook, 256 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by Scribner (first published November 30th 2009)
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Mark Hebwood
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WARNING

If you kindly devote some of your time to reading this review, you may become frustrated. Because I am not referring directly to Chad's book very much. I am expressing thoughts that were triggered through my reading of his book, and I find these thoughts fascinating. Still, there is a link to the book, and you will find it in the middle of my blurb under the heading "A message to Chad".

The universe is making fun of me

So here's the problem: Particles do not exist - fields do. Fields do not
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Andrew
Quite an arresting title, which is the main reason someone bought it for me! I was studying an undergraduate physics module with the Open University at the time so it was quite useful to read another way of describing some of the areas of this vast subject, even if it is largely aimed at an audience with little or no science education beyond GCSE.

The conceit here is that the author, who is a physics lecturer, has a talking dog called Emmy, who wants to know more about quantum physics in order to
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Derek
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved almost every page. I've seen quite a few comments that thought the "talking to the dog" metaphor got tired. All I can say to those people is "you obviously don't love your dog!" Or, worse, perhaps you're a cat person. My only problem with Emmy (the dog) was that she's clearly smarter than my dog, who really didn't get a thing out of this book.

Like when Emmy doesn't get a joke: ‘“It's a physics joke,” I explain, because that always makes things funnier.’ How can that not be funny?

Or
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Pat
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I love to do is browse around in the library looking at whatever catches my attention. I like to look over the new fiction and nonfiction sections, as well as just wandering the stacks pulling down and scanning all kinds of books. On one of my trips to the library last year, I discovered “How To Teach Physics To Your Dog”. I was amused by the cutesy title, but I was hooked as soon as I started reading the book.

This book is an overview of quantum physics. Now I know that most pe
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Louisa Heath
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Why Talk to Your Dog about Physics?'

In his attempt to bring the rather complex discipline of quantum theory/physics/mechanics to the masses, or at least those masses who chose to pick up a science book, Orzel uses the interesting framing device which the book's title alludes to. Conversations between Orzel and his adopted German Shepard cross Emmy are sprinkled liberally throughout the text, adding some needed lightness between the heavier chunks of hard quantum theory.

Subjects discussed by the
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Graeme Skinner
This book was a real struggle.

I was recommended to read this as a light hearted way to learn a little bit more about Quantum Physics and to be honest, it wasn't that bad.

The book starts off with the main character being Chad, I presume, talking to his dog about bunny rabbits and other garden animals. Each chapter starts off very light hearted and flippant, where he sets the scene and for example, gets the dog to talk to him about chasing bunny rabbits and why they always escape him when he chas
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Amy
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the concept of it and got through, oh, about 3 chapters before I was unable to hang. He'd need to be there with me and his dog and for demonstration purposes, and then I could go, "wait, wait, what?!? can you slow down a bit? Okay, so waves... like the ocean, but we can't see them, and sound behaves like waves but also refracts? shit, okay, wait, start from the beginning." Physics is var interesting, but damn, so difficult!
Peter Mcloughlin
This was loaned to me by a friend. It is a very down to earth and accessible introduction to Quantum Mechanics and the strangeness of Quantum world. You will get the Uncertainty Principle, Wave-Particle Duality of course but you will get Quantum Tunneling, Aspects of QED, Quantum Zeno Effect, The Quantum Eraser experiment, and the Many Worlds Interpretation. Very fun book and makes the subject more easily graspable. Definitely glad it was lent to me.
Ben Babcock
Maybe a dog person would find Chad Orzel’s attempts to talk quantum mechanics in the language of a pet and her owner more endearing. How to Teach Physics to Your Dog is Yet Another Pop Sci look at quantum mechanics, albeit one from a more technical than, say, historical perspective. Orzel frames each chapter within a conversation with his dog, Emmy, grounded in the context of something a dog would do, like hunt bunnies or eat treats. Unfortunately, the writing tries too hard to be cutesy and fun ...more
Kit
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "teaching to your dog" gimmick is cute at first but gets kind of old eventually, even though I'm sure that Orzel's dog is, as she reports, a VERY good dog. :) The thing I really liked about this book is that Orzel actually goes into detail about how the experiments were designed that proved various aspects of quantum theory. I've never read a popular physics book that didn't just skip over that part, and it made some of the concepts a lot easier to understand.
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Chad Orzel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY.

He studied at University of Maryland, College Park, MD: PhD in Chemical Physics, 1999 and Williams College, Williamstown, MA: BA in Physics, 1993.

From 1999-2001, Chad was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Physics Department at Yale University, studying Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC)
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More about Chad Orzel...
“Dogs come to quantum physics in a better position than most humans. They approach the world with fewer preconceptions than humans, and always expect the unexpected. A dog can walk down the same street every day for a year, and it will be a new experience every day. Every rock, every bush, every tree will be sniffed as if it had never been sniffed before. If dog treats appeared out of empty space in the middle of a kitchen, a human would freak out, but a dog would take it in stride. Indeed, for most dogs, the spontaneous generation of treats would be vindication—they always expect treats to appear at any moment, for no obvious reason.” 3 likes
“Quantum mechanics seems baffling and troubling to humans because it confounds our commonsense expectations about how the world works. Dogs are a much more receptive audience. The everyday world is a strange and marvelous place to a dog, and the predictions of quantum theory are no stranger or more marvelous than, say, the operation of a doorknob.*” 0 likes
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