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Dutton (2018-08-07)
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English
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Society & Social Sciences
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THROUGH TWO DOORS AT ONCE

The Elegant Experiment That Captures the Enigma of Our Quantum Reality

by Anathaswamy, Anil

The story of the "double slit" experiment, showing how a simple piece of paper with two holes in it changed the way we understand light and the fabric of realityand is still doing so two hundred years later.

Some of the greatest minds in the history of science, even Newton himself, clashed over the simple question that the double slit experiment sought to answer: Is light a particle or a wave? And despite Albert Einstein proving that it is, in fact, both, that discovery only raised more questions. Richard Feynman thought this experiment the most beautiful ever made. Decade after decade, hypothesis after hypothesis, scientists have continued to return to the double-slit experiment to help them answer questions about the quantum mechanics of reality.

With his extraordinarily gifted eloquence, Ananthaswamy takes the reader on an exploration of the past, present, and future implications of the double-slit experiment. No longer just used to examine the nature of light, Thomas Young's simple contraption, involving a candle and some paper with two slits in it, has surpassed its humble (yet paradigm-shifting) origins; redesigned in variations that extend into the solar system and use the most minute high-tech engineering, the double-slit experiment is exposing and untangling the deepest mysteries of the universe. It is a tool that can finally show us where the quantum world ends and the familiar classical world of our daily lives begins.

THROUGH TWO DOORS AT ONCEcelebrates physics at its most elegantly simple and profound. Anil Ananthaswamy travels around the world and through history, introducing readers to visionary contemporary physicists such as Roger Penrose and Leonard Susskind who are still developing this experiment, as well as revolutionaries like Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. It is a journey readers will never forget.


Anil Ananthaswamy is a consultant for the London-based New Scientist magazine, a guest editor in science journalism at UC Santa Cruz's renowned science writing program, and teaches in the science journalism workshop at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. He has worked at New Scientist in various capacities since 2000, including as a staff writer and a deputy news editor. He is a freelance feature editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science'sFront Matter. He has also written forNational Geographic, Discover,The Times,andThe Independentand is a columnist for PBS NOVA'sThe Nature of Realityblog. He splits his time between northern California and Bangalore, India.

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