Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat

How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics

Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat

Halpern, Paul

Editorial Basic Books
Fecha de edición noviembre 2016 · Edición nº 1

Idioma inglés

EAN 9780465096831
288 páginas
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Resumen del libro

The story of the doomed competition between two of physics' greatest to create a grand unified theory

Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger were friends and comrades-in-arms against what they considered the most preposterous aspects of quantum physics: its indeterminacy. Einstein famously quipped that God does not play dice with the universe, and Schrödinger is equally well known for his thought experiment about the cat in the box who ends up "spread out" in a probabilistic state, neither wholly alive nor wholly dead. Both of these famous images arose from these two men's dissatisfaction with quantum weirdness and with their assertion that underneath it all, there must be some essentially deterministic world. Even though it was Einstein's own theories that made quantum mechanics possible, both he and Schrödinger could not bear the idea that the universe was, at its most fundamental level, random.

As the Second World War raged, both men struggled to produce a theory that would describe in full the universe's ultimate design, first as collaborators, then as competitors. They both ultimately failed in their search for a Grand Unified Theory-not only because quantum mechanics is true, but because Einstein and Schrödinger were also missing a key component: of the four forces we recognize today (gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force, and the strong force), only gravity and electromagnetism were known at the time.

Biografía del autor

Paul Halpern es profesor de Física en la Universidad de las Ciencias de Filadelfia ymiembro de la American Physical Society. Es autor de libros de divulgación científicay numerosos artículos.




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