This is an exceptionally accessible, accurate, and non-technical introduction to quantum mechanics. After briefly summarizing the differences between classical and quantum behaviour, this engaging account considers the Stern-Gerlach experiment and its implications, treats the concepts of probability, and then discusses the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and Bell's theorem. Quantal interference and the concept of amplitudes are introduced and the link revealed between probabilities and the interference of amplitudes. Quantal amplitude is employed to describe interference effects. Final chapters explore exciting new developments in quantum computation and cryptography, discover the unexpected behaviour of a quantal bouncing-ball, and tackle the challenge of describing a particle with no position. Thought-provoking problems and suggestions for further reading are included. Suitable for use as a course text, The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics enables students to develop a genuine understanding of the domain of the very small. It will also appeal to general readers seeking intellectual adventure.
• Non-technical. Avoids oversimplification, technical jargon and mathematics • Contains 65 end-of-chapter problems and 11 end-of-book synthesizing questions that can be assigned to students • Suitable both as a textbook for general courses (e.g. physics for arts students, scientific literacy) and as a supplement for quantum mechanics and modern physics courses
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Classical magnetic needles; 3. The Stern–Gerlach experiment; 4. The conundrum of projections: repeated measurements; 5. Probability; 6. The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paradox; 7. Variations on a theme by Einstein; 8. Optical interference; 9. Quantal interference; 10. Amplitudes; 11. Working with amplitudes; 12. Two slit inventions; 13. Quantum cryptography; 14. Quantum mechanics of a bouncing ball; 15. The wavefunction; Appendix A: a brief history of quantum mechanics; Appendix B: putting weirdness to work; Appendix C: sources; Appendix D: general questions; Appendix E: bibliography; Appendix F: skeleton answers for selected problems; Index.
'Styer addresses a non-technical audience … the book gives a clear account of Feynman's approach. At times this is quite compelling … One valuable idea that I haven't seen before in this kind of book is the inclusion of challenging problems at the end of each chapter … if you are looking for an original account of Feynman's approach, I can recommend this book.' Peter Holland, New Scientist
'When Dan Syter lays out quantum mechanics, I listen.' Edwin F. Taylor, winner of Oersted Medel 1998
'The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics not only provides a lively written, accurate and non-technical introduction to these basic concepts of quantum mechanics but also manages to bridge the gap from these basic concepts to modern developments which are still of topical interest for current research … this book is an ideal source for any non-physicist with a strong interest in the central ideas of quantum mechanics … thus The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics is also highly recommendable to students and even to experts as a complementary textbook.' G. Alber, Contemporary Physics