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How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

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I like to look over the new fiction and nonfiction sections, as well as just wandering the stacks pulling down and scanning all kinds of books. Orzel’s explanations, while admirably complete, also tend towards a level of technical complexity that belies the book’s pop science label. I was less enamoured whenever he started talking about photons as waves and interference patterns … the way he was explaining it ended up confusing me and doubting my knowledge of quantum physics rather than honing it! Chad Orzel’s book How to Teach [Quantum] Physics to Your Dog is an enjoyable analysis of many of the basic concepts of quantum mechanics. He studied at University of Maryland, College Park, MD: PhD in Chemical Physics, 1999 and Williams College, Williamstown, MA: BA in Physics, 1993.

He'd need to be there with me and his dog and for demonstration purposes, and then I could go, "wait, wait, what? It’s hard for me to approach books like this from the eyes of a first timer, because I’ve read so many—I don’t pretend that means I know a lot about quantum mechanics, but you do start to hear the same stories over and over. I found this device far too distracting and cheesy for my tastes, and it adds very little to Orzel’s explanations.When Quantum Physics expert Dr Chad Orzel went to adopt a dog he never imagined he would end up with one as inquisitive as Emmy. Taking Emmy's anarchic behaviour as a starting point, Orzel explains the key theories of quantum physics. One could argue if the dialogs between Chad and his dog Emmy were necesary, as the writing style may be perceived as childish, but afterwards, it actually provided the comic relief in a tough subject like quantum physics.

From there it covers a number of topics, including Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and the famous thought experiment known as Schrödinger’s Cat.Not only did it explain quantum with astute precision but also helped me develop a keen interest in quantum. It uses just enough math to get the ideas across and frames much of the interpretation in metaphors based on the dog’s desire to catch little furry animals. A dog won't find dropped food on the same block every day, and a photon won't interact with a molecule in the same part of the interferometer every time. From there the author moves to an explanation of the topic and the experiments used to prove the theory correct.

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