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looking for layman book on quantum mechanics, etc.

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posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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I was a physics major my first two years in college, but I fizzled-out and switched to engineering. I really regret that I don't "understand" quantum mechanics. (I know Feynman said that nobody understands quantum mechanics, but I mean I don't even know enough about it to be properly amazed.)

I have several textbooks on quantum mechanics sitting on my bookshelf that I haven't opened for 25 years. I'm hoping to find a layman book on the subject with diagrams and examples instead of equations. But I don't want the book to be cute meaningless words. Like telling me that string theory is about vibrating strings and many tiny dimensions doesn't really tell me very much.




posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:46 AM
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my humble opinion on quantum physics :
nothing really exists. its your perception of reality that makes things exist.
Atoms don't exist until you look for them,then they appear.
every thing is made up of light,from the sun,down to a paramecium.
everything is just vibrations of light.
a layman's book on quantum physics is like a dummies guide on the mind of God! it doesn't exist.
read the rig veda,the tibetan book of the dead,the old testament,etc...
these books are truth,if you know how to read them.
Jesus said 'i am the light'
"in the beggining God said let there be light
Budda said life is not real,life is suffering,until you see the light
hope this helps!



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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Not sure if there is a "QM for dummies" book but you might be better off with documentaries if you just want a brief description with images etc.

Try the elegant universe.

or just about anything with Michio Kaku in.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 


A Brief History of Time by S.Hawking might be what your looking for.

wikilink

I think you could find a pdf somewhere online.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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Try

The Quantum Story - A History in 40 Moments by Jim Baggott

www.waterstones.com...
www.youtube.com...

Really quite a good book.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

Actually Feynman holds a possible answer to your quest. His QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter is nothing short of brilliant in my opinion. I have never attended anything higher than D level physics(danish lvls, don´t know if they are comparable) and I ended up at least thinking I understood it.

Now you made me want to read it again...



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by PhoenixOD
Not sure if there is a "QM for dummies" book but you might be better off with documentaries if you just want a brief description with images etc.

Try the elegant universe.

or just about anything with Michio Kaku in.


Yes! Excellent book


But before I read The Elegant Universe, I read Carl Sagan's "Cosmos." Very easy to understand, and quite thrilling really.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

I recommend the following book:

A Radically Modern Approach to Introductory Physics Volume I (and Volume II)

florida.theorangegrove.org...

A. It's free!
B. Part of the radically modern approach is discussing quantum mechanics at an introductory level in chapter 7. This is rarely if ever done in classical physics texts, which don't discuss quantum mechanics at an introductory level. So it's pretty simple at an introductory level.

The next step of complexity may be found here:

physics.nmt.edu...

Just click those individual links for the different parts of the course to get pdfs explaining the concepts in more depth.

All that is free.

If you are willing to pay for a video lecture, this series is great, I've watched the first half of it so far, and it's excellent:

Quantum Mechanics: The Physics of the Microscopic World

If you have certain skills you might even be able to find it without paying for it, but of course ATS doesn't advocate this, so no specific discussion of that is permitted here. I'd start with the free textbook.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by reficul
 


I've got the Bhagavad Gita, Upasanids, and Dhammapada on my reading list too (after I finish the Dune series).



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Thanks, I downloaded "A Radically Modern Approach to Introductory Physics" and that is probably about my level although it will be a challenge for me. I know it's supposed to be easy, but I'm really rusty.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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+1 for Richard Feynman!


OP I know you said you want layman/no equations but I would still recommend going with The Feynman Lectures. Richard's gift, on top of being one of the most brilliant physicists who ever lived, was his ability to communicate difficult concepts like he's just talking to some old friend.

The Feynman lectures were written for freshman and sophomore physics students - so with 2 years background and an engineering degree to boot, you should definitely fall into the target market



You can find the entire series in pdf for free here:

The Feynman Lectures on Physics


(Quantum Physics is volume 3)

Enjoy



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 03:25 PM
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Yeah the elegant universe is just about as layman as you can get.

Quantum Mechanics isn't exactly the easiest subject to explain without huge physics based terminology lol



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by mc_squared
+1 for Richard Feynman!


OP I know you said you want layman/no equations but I would still recommend going with The Feynman Lectures. Richard's gift, on top of being one of the most brilliant physicists who ever lived, was his ability to communicate difficult concepts like he's just talking to some old friend.

The Feynman lectures were written for freshman and sophomore physics students - so with 2 years background and an engineering degree to boot, you should definitely fall into the target market



You can find the entire series in pdf for free here:

The Feynman Lectures on Physics


(Quantum Physics is volume 3)

Enjoy


I actually own them already, but I have never even cracked them open. I bought them when I was student in the 80's but I was always too busy for extra reading and I assumed they would be beyond me. Now I think I am definitely too rusty. I can't even remember how to do Calculus. I would like to brush-up some of my knowledge - if nothing else I have some nieces that might be needing help on their homework in a few years.



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 


As I recall he got his Nobel Price for the simplistic but quite accurate arrow drawing thing - probably included more than that - partly because of the easy to understand and use approach as I recall. Got the price with two other guys I think.
QED, I think, is the quantum lectures in book form. And as I said, I understood it after 1½ reading and I have never had above highschool level physics - possibly lower.
I don´t think you need to worry...
edit on 5-1-2012 by FedtStensDyr because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 


The Teaching Company's Great Courses are taped classroom lectures with graphics taught by some of the top professors in their field. Benjamine Schumacher's course on Quantum Mechanics is 24 half-hour lectures. If you can't afford to buy it, perhaps you can check out the DVD set from you public library or a university library. Unfortunately, they are not available via Netflix.



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by FedtStensDyr
reply to post by cloudyday
 


As I recall he got his Nobel Price for the simplistic but quite accurate arrow drawing thing - probably included more than that - partly because of the easy to understand and use approach as I recall. Got the price with two other guys I think.
QED, I think, is the quantum lectures in book form. And as I said, I understood it after 1½ reading and I have never had above highschool level physics - possibly lower.
I don´t think you need to worry...
edit on 5-1-2012 by FedtStensDyr because: (no reason given)


Thanks, I'll order that book and give it a try. I admire Feynman. I did read his book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman". He seemed to be interested in almost everything. It must be nice to be that smart.



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Phractal Phil
reply to post by cloudyday
 


The Teaching Company's Great Courses are taped classroom lectures with graphics taught by some of the top professors in their field. Benjamine Schumacher's course on Quantum Mechanics is 24 half-hour lectures. If you can't afford to buy it, perhaps you can check out the DVD set from you public library or a university library. Unfortunately, they are not available via Netflix.


Thanks, I bookmarked that website. They seem to have lots of classes in all subjects.



posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

That's the same course and site I already linked you to earlier in the thread, and as I said, it's excellent.



posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 06:28 AM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
reply to post by cloudyday
 

That's the same course and site I already linked you to earlier in the thread, and as I said, it's excellent.


Sorry, after I saw the text book you recommended ("A Radically Modern Approach to Introductory Physics Volume I") I decided I would be satisfied with that level of understanding so I didn't read the more advanced recommendations. That text book looks like a great idea for freshman IMHO. It seems to cover the concepts without forcing the reader to know too much math. I've often wondered if there is a way to teach physics using computers and graphs and diagrams in place of math - or let the students plug equations into a computer for a solution instead of doing the math themselves.



posted on Jan, 6 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

First you looked at my 1st link but not the 2nd and 3rd.

Now you looked at the 3rd link.

But have you looked at the 2nd link?

I was going to comment in my post how cool I thought it was that the course was taught with the aid of Interactive use of the pgraf graphics package, but I figured my post was already long enough and that info was in the link anyway. But now since you mentioned software use, I thought I'd point it out.

I think that's going to be a more useful tool in the future and as you can see, some classes are already doing it, like the 2nd link I gave you!



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