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Entanglement
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message 1: by Bill, Moderator (new)

Bill Burris (wburris) | 248 comments Mod
Discussion for our Jan 2018 book: Entanglement by Amir D. Aczel


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 06, 2018 03:33AM) (new)

I've read some other books by Aczel, most recently "God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe." I liked it a lot. He's pretty good at explaining difficult concepts without using so many formulas that your eyes glaze over. He describes this approach pretty well in the preface to Entanglement. I'm about 2/3 through; here's my take so far.

The first chapters introduce a lot of players and concepts that are only peripherally important to understanding entanglement; "spooky action at a distance" as Einstein called it. I think there are too many of these short biographical chapters, kind of like a mystery novel where the exposition goes on too long.

The book really picks up for me when he gets into what I think is a very clear explanation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. It's kind of strange that Einstein doesn't even appear in this book in a significant way until about 100 pages in, but the story of his relationship, and disagreement, with Niels Bohr is fun to read.

Liking it so far.


message 3: by Bill, Moderator (new)

Bill Burris (wburris) | 248 comments Mod
I was just looking through my amazon orders. I bought this book in 2004. Its about time I got around to reading it.


message 4: by Vidya (last edited Jan 11, 2018 04:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vidya (vidyabhandary) | 77 comments Thoroughly fascinating !!! Had to look up things - like the ghost image experiment (I did not understand what was happening in this at all until reading some more), borromean and hopf rings, quantum cryptography and a few other experiments. While it is explained pretty well in the book, a little googling definitely helped.

I did not know that entanglement was a property first discovered by mathematical considerations.

Had learnt Young's experiment loooong time back as part of studies - never knew that it was a basis for so much upheaval ! The part where both particles (be it neutron, electron or atom) go through both slits at once ! Wow ... !

This is my first book by Aczel and I like how he explains things. Informative and yet not verbose. Definitely no glazing over.

As Doug mentioned there were many biographical chapters but after reading "The theory that would not die" I was resigned to reading another similar book with more history than science ! Luckily it did not pan out that way.


message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 11, 2018 03:17PM) (new)

Have to admit that I was in over my head a few times, but it was worth it.

Aczel passed away a couple of years ago. He left a lot of books, on everything from Fermat's Theorem to the Jesuit scientist, de Chardin. Seems he was conversant in a lot of fields. I've read several, not nearly all, of his books and they were all worthwhile. The only one I have reservations about recommending is "Why Science Does Not Disprove God." This should have been right in my wheelhouse, but it's my least favorite.

Glad you liked it Vdy!


Vidya (vidyabhandary) | 77 comments He seems to be have been a prolific author - at this point all of them look interesting ! Choices , choices ! Good to know you enjoyed his other books Doug.


Kamarul Mansur I just finished the Entanglement. I thought the book is full of scientific jargon and more formula and proving it that finally leads to what Entanglement is all about. It turns out, there are a lot of short biography about famous people in physics. I thought that Young's Experiment is just want to show the student about banded of lights and that's all I could remember. It turns out, that experiment was way more than I could imagine.

At some point, I couldn't be just a passive reader. I need to be an active one. Must google and refresh some topics on physics learnt back in school and uni. Then only I think I could see what the author wants to convey in his book without skipping to the last chapter where he finally talk about it.


message 8: by Iris (last edited Apr 05, 2018 12:54AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Iris (tsuris) | 4 comments In my opinion there's not enough information on the scientific phenomenon and too much biographical content concerning all the scientists involved with entanglement in some way or another (to the extent that I lost track of which story belonged to which name pretty fast). That said, the scientific parts were highly interesting and clearly understandable so overall I'd say it's a decent book.


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