“How to Teach Physics to Your Dog”
Posted February 15, 2010on:
The book itself is written as a conversation with the author and his dog. The author’s dog, Emmy, plays a very important role, offering great questions and commentary and constantly bringing us back to the practicality of the science.
Chad Orzel’s relaxed writing style brings the book down to a more common level, but is quantum physics for everyone? I haven’t studied quantum mechanics since my junior year of college, so I am more than a bit rusty. I picked up the book and got through thirty pages in no time. Then there were times when it made my head hurt and I could only get through a page at a time. Quantum physics is strange and challenging material. Chad does a great job making it interesting and readable.
I often pick up books and don’t bother finishing them. This book kept pulling me back to discover what oddity was next. I knew about the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics and I’ve never felt like it made sense. In the book I learned about the “many worlds” interpretation. While they have the same outcomes, they take different paths at understanding superposition. I’m not sure any of it really makes sense, but the book does a real nice job bringing quantum mechanics down to the science minded lay person.
I love that Chad ends the book with an straight forward scientific discussion of all the crap out there claiming quantum healing and magic. As a high school physics teacher, if I get any questions on quantum mechanics, it’s usually about the cures and “free energy” and not about Feynman drawings (which are touched on) and quantum teleportation.
This is not a simple read, but worthy of your time. I expect I will pick this book up again in about six months to see if a second read improves my understanding. Again, not something I would usually do, but I can see jumping back in for another taste. Thanks Andy.