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Science becomes an art

Why Nobody Understands Quantum and Everybody Needs to Know Something About It

Céline Broeckaert & Frank Verstraete

Quantum physics gives us an understanding of matter that is so broad, powerful and precise that practically all of modern technology depends upon it. At the same time, quantum is uncommonly hard to fathom. No other theory contradicts our intuition so strongly or has led to so much controversy.

A delightful book for all those who don’t speak mathematics but are curious about the most beautiful of theories and its impact on our lives.
Barbara Terhal (TU Delft)

Vividly and playfully, a scientist and a writer tell the improbable story of quantum physics from the perspective of the scientists who made the theory great. This book starts out from a belief that quantum physics is not impossible to understand at all. On the contrary, there are a number of basic ideas, such as symmetry, the exclusion principle or the uncertainty principle, that ensure everyone can gain a greater understanding of our atomic world. The difficulty and the counter-intuitive features of physics should not be used to mystify it – that’s precisely the opposite of what a popularizing book should do.

Frank’s insights filtered by Celine’s whimsy result in a physics book unlike any other. The scope, depth, and artistry are breathtaking.
John Preskill (Caltech)

The philosophy of this book is therefore to help the reader focus on the ideas that surround the theory, because they are far more intuitive and important than its precise logical deductions. Broeckaert and Verstraete have no ability or desire to explain quantum physics in a book without formulae, but that is not necessary anyhow. What they want to achieve is to make the reader see and feel new things, and afterwards to look at the world from a fresh quantum perspective.

‘Why Nobody Understands Quantum’ is a rewarding book. Despite the many digressions – elaborations that provide extra depth, biographical details but also ‘quantum rhymes’ for entertainment – it never reads like a dry physics textbook. ****
De Standaard