Call it “quantum physics for dummies.” Physicist and author Kenneth W. Ford compiles a plethora of essential quantum terms, theories and factoids into one easy sourcebook that will no doubt help countless readers intimidated by “hard science” get a real feel for what happens at the quantum level. Whether you are interested in learning more about a particular subject or getting a general overall education on quantum physics, this comprehensive “field guide” is a great place to start.
The book is filled with topics from wave-particle duality to superposition, string theory to Feynman diagrams, laws of conservation of energy to quantum dots, black holes to the behavior of electrons - all described in a fairly understandable way that can help the average reader to, at the very least, get a grip on some otherwise very complex ideas. Ford does a fantastic job of covering every aspect of the quantum world (even if some of them are still a bit over the head of this reader), and he includes drawings and anecdotes that help shed even more light on the entire gamut of the scientific field of study. Yet at no time does Ford talk down to the reader but always challenges us to learn more, research more, and want to know more.
The book is divided into sections that help identify interest-specific subject matter, but it is truly one to be read cover to cover if one really wishes to have a full understanding of the quantum and how it fits into our own day-to-day world. Ford’s previous book, The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone, would most likely make a fantastic companion book to this encyclopedia-style offering.
As we hear more and more about amazing new discoveries in the world of quantum physics and quantum computing, it behooves us to have a general education in what many believe is the cutting-edge science of the future. 101 Quantum Questions is a great way to begin that journey to gain a better understanding of how and why things work at the level of the “very small,” and how they may tell us more about our own grander-scale existence than we ever thought or imagined.