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Fayer M.D. Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World

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Fayer M.D. Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World
American Management Association, 2010. — 396 p. — ISBN-13 978-0-8144-1488-0.
How a photon can be in two places at once is just one of the conundrums of quantum physics that Fayer (Elements of Quantum Mechanics) helps to unravel. The Stanford University Professor of Chemistry provides a roadmap for non-scientific readers who wish to understand the subject but lack advanced mathematical training. Fayer's belief that our everyday experiences "teach us to think in terms of classical physics" helps him easily breach the leap from playing ball to understanding how the earth orbits the sun. But because what we learn as children "prepares us to view nature in a manner that is fundamentally wrong," most people are at a loss when probing seemingly simple questions: "Why are cherries red and blueberries blue?" While the large objects treated in classical physics can be measured without appreciable disturbance, the same is not true at the quantum level. We may take the color and size of fruit for granted, but Fayer illustrates the ways in which "the natural world is driven by quantum phenomena" with a serious, accessible treatment of a complex and fascinating subject.
Schro¨dinger’s Cat
Size Is Absolute
Some Things About Waves
The Photoelectric Effect and Einstein’s Explanation
Light: Waves or Particles?
How Big Is a Photon and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
Photons, Electrons, and Baseballs
Quantum Racquetball and the Color of Fruit
The Hydrogen Atom: The History
The Hydrogen Atom: Quantum Theory
Many Electron Atoms and the Periodic Table of Elements
The Hydrogen Molecule and the Covalent Bond
What Holds Atoms Together: Diatomic Molecules
Bigger Molecules: The Shapes of Polyatomic Molecules
Beer and Soap
Fat, It’s All About the Double Bonds
Greenhouse Gases
Aromatic Molecules
Metals, Insulators, and Semiconductors
Think Quantum
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