THE STORY OF QUANTUM MECHANICS by Victor Guillemin

THE STORY OF QUANTUM MECHANICS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The over-thirty generation, deprived of the New Math and the New Physics, may be able to recoup some of their losses with this book. Guillemin's presentation is a conscientious, thorough that is, not a superficial development of the ideas of quantum theory. He begins with a brief survey of classical mechanics and continues with a chronological account of the actors and the arguments that led to such notions as discontinuous energy states, matter-waves, the Uncertainty Principle. These non-sensory images of the micro-cosmos come hard for a generation brought up on the planetary model of the atom. But even Guillemin's use of formulae and equations is not too frightening. He is to be commended for his skills in explication. Quantum theory, he shows us, builds a better model of the universe, but Newtonian mechanics can still be tucked in: From atomic physics he moves on to nuclear and particle physics including such contemporary conceits as ""quarks"" and ""gravitons."" The latter part of the book deals with the philosophical implications of modern theory, particularly in relation to causality. By not glossing over some of the gutsier details, the author imprints some feeling of the new physics. Read the book slowly, and read some sections twice.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Scribners