How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival

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9780393076363: How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival
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Kaiser 's style is engaging, which makes this history of the time when physics left the short-sleeved white shirts, skinny ties and plastic pocket protectors behind one of the best science books of the year. --Sacramento News & Review

...Kaiser highlights the group's key role in keeping some major research themes alive. --BBC Focus

This is an enjoyable read, with an engaging cast of characters... --Literary Review

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. [...]a book brimming with colourful and curious characters[...] --Times Literary Supplement

A fascinating exploration of recent physics history. --Financial Times

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Advance Praise for How the Hippies Saved Physics:“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. As the physicist I. I. Rabi once remarked: ‘What [more] do you want, mermaids?’”—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, Poincaré’s Maps“What happens when you mix the foundations of quantum mechanics with hot tubs, ESP, saffron robes, and psychedelic drugs? How the Hippies Saved Physics chronicles the wild years of the 1970s when a group of largely unemployed physicists teamed up with LSD advocate Timothy Leary, EST founder Werner Erhard, telekinesist Uri Geller, and a host of other countercultural figures to mount a full-scale assault on physics orthodoxy. 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“David Kaiser shows us the wonder, mystery, and joy of the scientific pursuit that helped define, and inspire, a particular moment within the counterculture. Some have seen and long appreciated these resonances, but no one has stated the case this authoritatively, this fully, and this colorfully, particularly from the science side of things. Clearly, this book signals, like the entangled photons with which it begins and ends, a fantastic new world of possibilities—historical, human, and scientific.”—Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion

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9780393342314: How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival

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ISBN 10:  039334231X ISBN 13:  9780393342314
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co., 2012
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