Cover image for Einstein's unfinished revolution : the search for what lies beyond the quantum / Lee Smolin ; illustrator, Kaca Bradonjic.
Title:
Einstein's unfinished revolution : the search for what lies beyond the quantum / Lee Smolin ; illustrator, Kaca Bradonjic.
ISBN:
9780345809100
Publication Information:
Toronto : Knopf Canada 2019.

©2019
Physical Description:
xxix, 322 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Abstract:
"A daring new vision of the quantum universe, and the scandals controversies, and questions that may illuminate our future--from Canada's leading mind on contemporary physics. Quantum physics is the golden child of modern science. It is the basis of our understanding of atoms, radiation, and so much else, from elementary particles and basic forces to the behaviour of materials. But for a century it has also been the problem child of science, plagued by intense disagreements between its intellectual giants, from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking, over the strange paradoxes and implications that seem like the stuff of fantasy. Whether it's Schrödinger's cat--a creature that is simultaneously dead and alive--or a belief that the world does not exist independently of our observations of it, quantum theory is what challenges our fundamental assumptions about our reality. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, globally renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin provocatively argues that the problems which have bedeviled quantum physics since its inception are unsolved for the simple reason that the theory is incomplete. There is more, waiting to be discovered. Our task--if we are to have simple answers to our simple questions about the universe we live in--must be to go beyond it to a description of the world on an atomic scale that makes sense. In this vibrant and accessible book, Smolin takes us on a journey through the basics of quantum physics, introducing the stories of the experiments and figures that have transformed the field, before wrestling with the puzzles and conundrums that they present. Along the way, he illuminates the existing theories about the quantum world that might solve these problems, guiding us toward his own vision that embraces common sense realism. If we are to have any hope of completing the revolution that Einstein began nearly a century ago, we must go beyond quantum mechanics as we know it to find a theory that will give us a complete

description of nature. In Einstein's

Unfinished Revolution, Lee Smolin brings us a step closer to resolving one of the greatest scientific controversies of our age."-- Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

A daring new vision of the quantum universe, and the scandals controversies, and questions that may illuminate our future--from Canada's leading mind on contemporary physics.

Quantum physics is the golden child of modern science. It is the basis of our understanding of atoms, radiation, and so much else, from elementary particles and basic forces to the behaviour of materials. But for a century it has also been the problem child of science, plagued by intense disagreements between its intellectual giants, from Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking, over the strange paradoxes and implications that seem like the stuff of fantasy. Whether it's Schrödinger's cat--a creature that is simultaneously dead and alive--or a belief that the world does not exist independently of our observations of it, quantum theory is what challenges our fundamental assumptions about our reality.
In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution , globally renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin provocatively argues that the problems which have bedeviled quantum physics since its inception are unsolved for the simple reason that the theory is incomplete. There is more, waiting to be discovered. Our task--if we are to have simple answers to our simple questions about the universe we live in--must be to go beyond it to a description of the world on an atomic scale that makes sense.
In this vibrant and accessible book, Smolin takes us on a journey through the basics of quantum physics, introducing the stories of the experiments and figures that have transformed the field, before wrestling with the puzzles and conundrums that they present. Along the way, he illuminates the existing theories about the quantum world that might solve these problems, guiding us toward his own vision that embraces common sense realism.
If we are to have any hope of completing the revolution that Einstein began nearly a century ago, we must go beyond quantum mechanics as we know it to find a theory that will give us a complete description of nature. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution , Lee Smolin brings us a step closer to resolving one of the greatest scientific controversies of our age.


Author Notes

LEE SMOLIN, a theoretical physicist of global standing, has made influential contributions to the search for a unification of physics. He is a founding faculty member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. His previous books include Time Reborn , The Trouble with Physics , and Three Roads to Quantum Gravity . He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this deep dive into quantum theory, Smolin (The Trouble with Physics), a Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics faculty member, explains what's missing from the field and what's needed to unify physics as a whole. Aiming to show that "conceptual problems and raging disagreements that have bedeviled quantum physics since its inception are unsolved and unsolvable, for the simple reason that the theory is wrong," Smolin discusses the "puzzles at the heart of quantum mechanics." He breaks down alternative interpretations, testing how well they express a realist theory of the universe, where reality does not depend on observers being present. From pilot wave theory and its eerie concept of how paths not taken in life "are traced by an empty wave function, ready to guide [one's] atoms, which, however, are elsewhere," the many worlds interpretation, and wave-function collapse, Smolin elucidates complex science without equations. Readers end with Smolin's own work on the "causal theory of views," which posits a universe consisting "of nothing but views of itself, each from an event in its history," where scientific laws act to make views as diverse as possible-a potential way forward. Occasionally, necessarily, textbook-dry, Smolin's work nonetheless demonstrates there isn't a thing in nature whose "contemplation cannot be a route to a wordless sense of wonder and gratitude just to be a part of it all." Agent: John Brockman, Edge. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Smolin (Time Reborn) uses his incredible capacity to discuss complex scientific theory in easy-to-understand examples and language in this terrific entry. Smolin spends this latest work discussing Einstein's theory of Quantum physics, arguing that the reason it's so difficult to comprehend is that other scientists have not yet completed the theory. Smolin organizes the book appropriately by covering what exactly is Quantum physics, what the problems associated with this theory are, and how to attempt to solve them. He also incorporates unifying Quantum theory with common-sense realism as a way of completing the theory. While there are some equations throughout, they are explained fully and should be easy for a novice to understand. Readers will see familiar names such as Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger as well as other luminaries incorporated into the history, including Hugh Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr's contributions to Quantum theory. VERDICT Fans of popular physics books and authors will find this an accessible and informative read. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]-Jason L. Steagall, formerly with Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.