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Book Club 2010 & Prior > December 2010 - Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World

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message 1: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
It's hard to believe that October is coming to a close. It's time to nominate books for December already! Nominations will be open until October 31st.


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments David,
I would like to learn more about quantum physics/mechanics--especially after reading the Disappearing Spoon. This book seems to have excellent reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/Absolutely-Smal...


message 3: by David (last edited Oct 26, 2010 03:40PM) (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
Sandra,
Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World looks like a great book--I'm definitely putting it on my "to-read" list. Keep in mind, that since it is a very new book, you probably won't find it yet at your local library.


message 4: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W I'd like to nominate Polio: An American Story. It seems like it could be interesting.


message 6: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
Any more nominations? We could use a couple more.


message 7: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 88 comments The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris, Published in 2010.


message 8: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
I've really wanted to read that book! Here is a link to it:
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values


message 9: by Eric (new)

Eric Bingham | 72 comments I don't know if you're still accepting nominations, but I'd like to read "A Natural History of the Senses," by Diane Ackerman. I've been wanting to read that one for some time.


message 10: by Gofita (new)

Gofita | 43 comments Eric wrote: "I don't know if you're still accepting nominations, but I'd like to read "A Natural History of the Senses," by Diane Ackerman. I've been wanting to read that one for some time."

A Natural History of the Senses


message 11: by Gofita (new)

Gofita | 43 comments These all look great! Some of these I've never heard of so even if they're not nominated I've already added them to my ever-growing list of science books!


message 12: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
Thanks, everyone! Nominations are now closed. You can vote for your choice from these five excellent books:
http://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/40...


message 13: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
It looks like Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World is the winner. It will be our December Book Club selection. I'm really looking forward to reading it!


message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments David wrote: "It looks like Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World is the winner. It will be our December Book Club selection. I'm really looking forward to reading it!"

I'm about 40 pages into it and it's pretty challenging for me, but I'm finally starting to understand wave phenomena. Now photons and electromagnetic fields are another matter, but he is a wonderful writer and teacher, so I'm hoping it will all come together. Very impressive so far.


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex Sandra, keep me posted. I would like to read up on quantum theory some more, but if it's too tough to follow I won't get enough out of it.


message 16: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (slortiz) | 60 comments Alex, I'm loving this book and I certainly don't have the math background to follow most discussions of this type. The writer has a way of making things pretty clear without resorting to numbers. He does use simple equations to demonstrate relationships but it's enough to understand that the relationships exist--you don't actually have to trouble yourself with the computations. One thing I particularly like is that he sets up graphs and examples early on that continue to be relevant to later text. He builds and refines ideas in a very orderly fashion unlike so many writers who keep going off on tangents.


message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex That sounds promising.


message 18: by Liz (new)

Liz Brau | 5 comments I am excited about this book! Quantum theory is one of my favorite physics mind-twisters!


message 19: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
I gave 5 stars to Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World. I really appreciate how the book explains how quantum theory applies to everyday, "macroscopic" properties of molecules. Things you hear in the news everyday, like greenhouse gases, alcohol, cholesterol, partially hydrogenated fats, and more.

Who else is reading the book now?


message 20: by Filza (new)

Filza | 13 comments i have no excess to this book:(


message 21: by Alex (new)

Alex Filza: in the interest of helping your English, which is excellent, a detail: it's "access."

David, I haven't had a chance to read it, but having just slogged through Hawking's brief intro to quantum mechanics in The Grand Design (one of four or five similar introductions I've read), I could use a whole book about it, because I have no friggin' idea what it's about.

(Although according to Feynman, neither does anyone else.)


message 22: by Filza (new)

Filza | 13 comments thanks Alex i just didn't notice!


message 23: by David (last edited Dec 22, 2010 07:10PM) (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
Are there any more comments about Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World from people who are reading the book?

This book is quite unlike others that we have voted for book of the month. For example, the author's style is quite serious--it doesn't have the humor that seems to be present in many other "popular style" science books. Also, there are some algebraic equations, that are generally absent from other popular science books. The book's goal is not to entertain, but to enlighten. Are these things putting people off from reading it?


message 24: by Bobbi (new)

Bobbi Lamont I am halfway through Absolutely Small and finding it more textbook-like than i hoped, (but I like it and will finish it as this is my first foray into this group which I'm glad to have found.
Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World doesn't hold a candle to Brian Greene's Elegant Universe for a humorous, accessible read on quantum theory. (sorry don't know how to make these titles into tags)


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