Brian Cox's new book

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Brian Cox's new book

#1  Postby Darkchilde » Jul 16, 2011 12:07 pm

Brian Cox is writing a new book on Quantum mechanics, which will explain Feynman's path integrals (as he has tweeted. Twitter is a wonderful resource). Here is the cover for the new book, co-written with Jeff Forshaw and aimed at the same audience as E=mc2:

http://twitpic.com/5qf576
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#2  Postby hackenslash » Jul 16, 2011 12:16 pm

:dance:
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#3  Postby twistor59 » Jul 16, 2011 12:40 pm

I guess the spacetime trajectories in which the book has already come out must have cancelled each other out.....
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#4  Postby Nautilidae » Jul 16, 2011 1:02 pm

I was just looking at this on twitter. Looks neat! I'll have to keep an eye out for it the next time I visit Barnes & Nobles. :cheers:
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#5  Postby mraltair » Jul 16, 2011 1:13 pm

If anyone can get me to understand quantum mechanics it's Cox and Forshaw. They (and members on here) helped me to understand relativity but QM might be beyond me.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#6  Postby hackenslash » Jul 16, 2011 1:24 pm

Nah. QM's actually quite simple to understand at bottom, at least at a visceral level. Everything flows from the uncertainty principle. Once you begin to see the implications of uncertainty, and how those implications are manifest, it isn't difficult. The hardest part is shedding middle-world thinking and, if you can grasp relativity, you've already done that to some extent. It's counter-intuitive, but so is relativity.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#7  Postby Animavore » Jul 16, 2011 1:49 pm

I'll be getting this new one. I'll be re-reading Why Does E=MC[super]2[/super] soon to help it sink in a bit better. May even start a thread about it so members here might clarify things :whistle:
I think I've mostly got it now.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#8  Postby The Plc » Jul 16, 2011 4:05 pm

Brian Cox is a physicist?
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#9  Postby Animavore » Jul 16, 2011 4:06 pm

The Plc wrote:Brian Cox is a physicist?


Yeah. He just does movies on the side. That's why you don't see him in many.
I preferred his more subtle Hannbal Lector, too.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#10  Postby Animavore » Sep 01, 2011 5:16 pm

This book is now on Amazon to pre--order.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-Univers ... =pd_cp_b_2
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#11  Postby mraltair » Sep 01, 2011 6:28 pm

Animavore wrote:This book is now on Amazon to pre--order.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-Univers ... skept01-21


Thanks for the reminder. :thumbup:

Added to my wish list.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#12  Postby Darkchilde » Sep 02, 2011 10:22 am

Animavore wrote:This book is now on Amazon to pre--order.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-Univers ... skept01-21


One of my next purchases on Amazon. Despite being able to read the hard stuff, I like the easy pop sci stuff.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#13  Postby Animavore » Sep 24, 2011 8:42 am

This book now has a release date of Oct 27.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#14  Postby twistor59 » Oct 23, 2011 12:28 pm

Review in the Indy (Oct 27 release remember...):
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#15  Postby hackenslash » Oct 23, 2011 12:44 pm

Hmmm, an interesting appraisal, especially given that the author has 'first in physics and a PhD in experimental nuclear physics', and still found it boggy...

I look forward to this with real interest.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#16  Postby twistor59 » Oct 23, 2011 12:59 pm

hackenslash wrote:Hmmm, an interesting appraisal, especially given that the author has 'first in physics and a PhD in experimental nuclear physics', and still found it boggy...

I look forward to this with real interest.


Yeah I was surprised by that. Esp. given that he said that the book was mostly non mathematical. I'm curious too. About to preorder from Amazon....

Edit: Can't wait for the single to be released...
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#17  Postby twistor59 » Oct 28, 2011 12:35 pm

The Coxy book arrived yesterday. Looks like it's written at a similar level, and aimed at a similar audience as E=mc2. However, quantum mechanics (for me anyway) is even more counter intuitive than relativity. So let's see how good a job they do. Will keep you posted.....
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#18  Postby twistor59 » Oct 30, 2011 5:51 pm

OK I read it over the weekend.

Hmmmmmm what do I think ?

It's aimed, I think, at the non specialist audience - people who are interested in physics but haven't gone a long way with formal academic training. So, it tries as much as possible, to avoid using equations. (There are one or two scattered around, but mostly for illustration only, not central to the flow).

It takes a very original approach to giving a popular-level introduction to quantum theory. It does this by explaining things (wave particle duality, Heisenberg's uncertainty prinicple etc etc) using Feynman's path integral formalism (although quite surprisingly it doesn't ever use this term - unless I missed it). Maybe they just didn't what to use a scary word like "integral" which might put people off.

One thing I wasn't too keen on was the constant reference to "clocks" all over the place. If you're going to add complex numbers, I prefer calling them "little arrows" like Feynman did. I guess they chose clocks because clocks inherently rotate, but I'd be happy to be told my little arrows rotate. Clocks conjures up a picture of a fucking great alarm clock with bells on it - I can't get it out of my head.

They go into more detail than Feynman, explaining how the action is constructed and depends on mass etc, and how Plancks constant is involved. Anyway, good use is made of this approach, showing how wavefunctions spread out and deriving the HUP. I've fiddled about with path integrals, so I could see where they were going, but I'd be interested to know if someone who was coming across QM for the first time would actually be happy with these explanations.

Some pretty good explanation of covalent bonding, metallic conduction bands etc.

I quite enjoyed it overall, and I certainly recommend giving it a go if you're interested in quantum stuff.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#19  Postby Animavore » Jan 02, 2012 7:06 pm

I just reserved a copy of this from the library. Hopefully I won't be waiting too long for it.
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Re: Brian Cox's new book

#20  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jan 02, 2012 11:34 pm

Darkchilde wrote:Brian Cox is writing a new book on Quantum mechanics, which will explain Feynman's path integrals (as he has tweeted. Twitter is a wonderful resource). Here is the cover for the new book, co-written with Jeff Forshaw and aimed at the same audience as E=mc2:

http://twitpic.com/5qf576
I like Brian Cox of course, but didn't Richard Feynman do a great job at explaining Feynman's path integrals? :)
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