Preface. A Mysterious Force of Harmony. Before the Beginning. Thomas Young's Experiment. Planck's Constant. The Copenhagen School. De Broglie's Pilot Waves. Schroedinger and His Equation. Heisenberg's Microscope. Wheeler's Cat. The Hungarian Mathematician. Enter Einstein. Bohm and Aharanov. John Bell's Theorem. The Dream of Clauser, Horne, and Shimony. Alain Aspect. Laser Guns. Triple Entanglement. The Ten-Kilometer Experiment. Teleportation: "Beam Me Up, Scotty". Quantum Magic: What Does It All Mean? Acknowledgments. References. Index.
Amir D. Aczel, PhD, is the author of a number of successful books, including: The Mystery of the Aleph, Fermat's Last Theorem and God's Equation: Einstein, Relativity and the Expanding Universe. He is Professor of Statistics at Bentley College and lives in Boston. His work has been translated into Turkish, Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Chinese and Spanish.
In his newest book, Aczel (Fermat's Last Theorem) discusses a great mystery in physics: the concept of entanglement in quantum physics. He begins by explaining that "entanglement" occurs when two subatomic particles are somehow connected or "entangled" with one another, so that when something happens to one particle, the same thing simultaneously happens to the other particle, even if it's miles away. However, this concept violates the theory of special relativity, since communication between two places cannot occur faster than the speed of light. Einstein knew that the mathematics of quantum theory predicted that this could happen, but he didn't believe it. In the last decade, researchers have shown in laboratory experiments that entanglement does indeed happen, and in one case it occurred over a distance of almost 10 miles. Aczel explores how a Star Trek-like teleportation may be possible via entanglement (however, a particle's quantum state, not the entire particle, is teleported to its mate), though perhaps at the expense of demonstrating entanglement's more real-world applications to cryptography. General readers may need to skim over his technical explanations, whereas more advanced readers will be interested in only the last third of the book. While the book won't satisfy dedicated science buffs, it will be an accessible entry into this concept of quantum physics. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Entanglement" is one of the more remarkable aspects of quantum mechanics, a field that has produced a number of counterintuitive phenomena. Entangled particles are created in the same process and retain a connection even if they become far separated physically. If a change is later imposed on one of these particles, then there instantaneously occurs a change with its entangled partner, even if that partner is very far away in another part of the universe. Thus, the news of the change is transmitted with infinite velocity by an unknown means. Einstein aptly referred to this phenomenon as "spooky." In recent decades, researchers have shown entanglement to be a physical fact, thereby vindicating quantum mechanics, spooky though it may be. Aczel (Fermat's Last Theorem) tells most of this story at a pace that is slow enough and understandable for lay readers, but the last few chapters are more technical. Some sections read awkwardly and would have benefited from better editing, but on the whole this is recommended for college and large public libraries.-Jack W. Weigel, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"?I am altogether happy that there is now a book on entanglement, almost 70 years after its discovery, and recommend it to people interested in the historical background and practical implications of quantum mechanics?" (Nature, 21 November 2002) "?a book that?s perhaps the best lay description of the evolution and current state of quantum physics available today?" (Focus, February 2003) "?Amir D. Aczel's short biographies of these quantum pioneers are lively and entertaining..." (The Times Literary Supplement, 11 September 2003)