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How the Hippies Saved Physics
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About the Author

David Kaiser is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and the Department of Physics. He lives near Boston.

Reviews

"It's rare to find quantum physics mentioned in the same breath with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll...I heartily enjoyed How the Hippies Saved Physics." -- John Gribbin - Wall Street Journal
"It is hard to write a book about quantum mechanics that is at once intellectually serious and a page-turner. But David Kaiser succeeds...Illuminating." -- Nature
"[Kaiser] does an admirable job of making the very concepts of quantum mechanics palpable." -- Christian Science Monitor
"An entertaining tale." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"This book takes us deep into the kaleidoscopic culture of the 1970s with its pop-metaphysicians, dabblers in Eastern mysticism, and counterculture gurus some of whom, it turns out, were also physicists seeking to challenge the foundations of their discipline. In David Kaiser's hands, the story of how they succeeded albeit in ways they never intended makes a tremendously fun and eye-opening tale." -- Ken Alder, author of The Measure of All Things and The Lie Detectors
"At first it sounds impossible, then like the opening line of a joke: What do the CIA, Werner Erhard's EST, Bay Area hippie explorations, and the legacy of Einstein, Heisenberg, and Schroedinger have in common? It turns out, as David Kaiser shows, quite a lot. Here is a book that is immensely fun to read, gives insight into deep and increasingly consequential questions of physics, and transports the reader back into the heart of North Beach zaniness in the long 1960s. Put down your calculators and pick up this book!" -- Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps
"David Kaiser's masterly ability to explain the most subtle and counterintuitive quantum effects, together with his ability to spin a ripping good yarn, make him the perfect guide to this far-off and far-out era of scientific wackiness." -- Seth Lloyd, author of Programming the Universe

Most laypersons view scientific research either as a series of eureka moments or an evenly spaced staircase of discoveries. In fact, neither view is accurate. Each scientific field has periods of great discovery and rapid expansion (organic chemistry in the 1800s, classical genetics in the early 1900s), periods of consolidation (early 17th-century medicine), and stagnation. In the 1970s, physics was in a period of retrenchment. When a talented group of physicists began meeting to exchange ideas, their shared thoughts and speculations brought about a physics renaissance. This is the story of their mental explorations. Sean Runnette, a highly capable reader, does a good job with sometimes difficult concepts. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of science or ideas. [For a less laudatory take on this title, read the review of the Norton hc, LJ 4/15/11.-Ed.]-I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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