A Prometheus Priority Title
Photo of Mike in 2016
(courtesy of Jack Kaufman)
What is the Figure on the Cover? - This is part of one of the NASA illustrations in the book, showing a stellar black hole (at the left) attracting atoms from a much larger blue-ish appearing star (beyond the right). As material falls into the hole, vertical up and downwards directed beams of light are released. (x-ray: NASA/CXC; Optical: Digitized Sky Survey.)
Why This Book?
The title and subtitle refer to tiny (quantum) steps in the energy levels within all of the atoms of our universe. In this and many other ways, ours is a quantum world. And our technologies are advancing based on our understanding of this world, to the extent that resulting inventions are now responsible for one third of our economy. Included among these inventions are all modern electronics, MRI’s, cell phones, digital cameras, and lasers with their myriad applications. (Think of laser surgery, or the bar code reader at your grocery store.) Much more is soon to come, including superpowerful quantum computers, hack-free quantum encryption and communication, and quantum devices to sense the presence of mineral resources and underground objects and structures, the latter as an aid to city planning and excavation.
We ourselves are quantum beings. All life and matter are quantum. And the earlier-than-expected formation of the stars and galaxies is believed to have resulted from quantum fluctuations near the time of the Big Bang.
The scientists involved in discovering the quantum nature of our world include Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Dirac Pauli, Gell-Mann and Feynman (all Nobel laureates).
But most of us have only the vaguest sense of any of this. That is why I’ve written Quantum Fuzz: to provide the thoughtful reader with a clear, interesting, math-free, easy-to-read view into this quantum world; and to describe the technological impact that this view has enabled. So that the human element is clearly visible, I describe the path of discovery in the context of the lives of the
scientists involved. And, to make the book even more enjoyable, I’ve included cartoons by Sidney Harris.
Quantum Fuzz is a voyage of discovery: rich in the history of science and human events - and a great opportunity to come on board and sail to new lands of understanding.