A report from the frontiers of atomic physics reveals how scientists are realizing the quantum dreams of Einstein, Schro+a5dinger, and Bohr and studying a fantastic new world of intertwining waves and particles that make up physical reality.
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Take seriously that subtitle--for what this fascinating book is all about are devices and procedures that allow the imaging of even a single atom suspended in a tiny doughnut-shaped trap. Von Baeyer (Physics/College of William and Mary), who charmed lay and professional readers alike with his Rainbows, Snowflakes and Quarks (1984), takes his main title from the fox in Saint Exup‚ry's The Little Prince, who described ``taming: as establishing bonds--a process that happens slowly and with patience.'' So it has been, von Baeyer contends, with the history of atomic theory from Democritus to Einstein down to the latter-day stars of quantum mechanics. He reminds us that no less a giant of physics than Ernst Mach stoutly denied the existence of atoms at the end of the 19th century. Now, while there are no doubters, there remain the paradoxes of quantum mechanics--such as wave- particle duality: In the ``Copenhagen'' interpretation, an electron is potentially either a wave or a particle and the act of measurement determines which. Einstein rejected that notion, arguing instead that there is an objective reality beyond acts of measurement. Von Baeyer sorts out the history and experiments behind the paradoxes to bring us up to date with new theories to resolve them--including the use of ingenious devices such as a ``quantum eraser'' sensitive to a photon extracted from a single atom. Other clever atom-taming devices in the author's marvelous catalog include an apparatus that can prevent the spontaneous emission of an atom; ``tuned'' lasers that can detect impurities in a sample down to a single atom; and the ``magic wrist''--a machine that ``feels'' the ``surface roughness of the atomic landscape.'' And all this told in that combination of depth of knowledge and eyewitness narrative that marks the best science writing. (Eight pages of color illustrations--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
At the beginning of this volume, von Baeyer ( Rainbows, Snowflakes and Quarks , LJ 7/84) tells of his recent visit to a physics laboratory to actually see an individual mercury atom, captured, isolated, and made visible by very new techniques of microphysics. He then backs up to review the whole history of atomic theory, from the classical Greek philosophers to 20th-century quantum mechanics. Next, he tells us more of the modern techniques for manipulating and viewing atomic particles; this section features the technique known as "scanning tunneling microscopy." Finally, he refers to the still-unresolved mystery of the foundations of quantum mechanics. All of this is accomplished without resort to diagrams or equations but with marvelously fluid and intelligible prose. The book will be accessible to well-informed lay readers but should also be entertaining even to advanced researchers. A superior work of scientific popularization; highly recommended for academic and public libraries.
- Jack W. Weigel, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Sent within 24 hours. Expedited UK delivery available. Bookseller Inventory # BBI2471435
Book Description -. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Taming the Atom: The Emergence of the Visible Microworld (Penguin science) This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140156218
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 24/02/1994, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780140156218
Book Description Penguin, 1992. Book Condition: Fair. This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has soft covers. In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. Bookseller Inventory # 5634188
Book Description Penguin Books, London, England, 1994. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Used book; clean internally and lightly used with a little wear to covers. Scrupulously accurate in contenet, deceptively effortless in style, and as intricately layered as a poem.ranks among the most rewarding popular science books of this or any other year. Bookseller Inventory # 2007864
Book Description Penguin, UK, 1994. Medium Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Good. 224 pages. A description of the experiments which led to a deeper understanding of the atom. Includes a section of color illustrations. Quantity Available: 1. Category: Science & Technology; ISBN: 0140156216. ISBN/EAN: 9780140156218. Inventory No: 08080281. The photo of this book is of the actual book for sale. Bookseller Inventory # 08080281