Field of Science

A beautiful, informal and comprehensive account of quantum history

Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science
David Lindley
Anchor, 2008

One of the best informal histories of quantum physics and its makers that I have come across, and I can say I have read many. Concisely and with passionate enthusiasm, Lindley manages to weave together the essential scientific discoveries, the scores of anecdotes about the famous participants including their personal conflicts and friendships, the philosophical and social implications associated with many quantum concepts, and the political and historical turmoil and connections that accompanied these discoveries. While mainly focused on Einstein, Heisenberg and Bohr, Lindley draws vivid portraits of other pioneers such as Pauli, Dirac, Born, Kramers and Schrodinger. Quantum physics is perhaps the most paradoxical, beautiful, bizarre and important scientific paradigm ever developed. The decade from 1920-1930 was undoubtedly the golden era of physics. Lindley succinctly and engagingly tells us how and why. A must read for history of physics lovers.

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