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When the Uncertainty Principle Goes to 11: Or How to Explain Quantum Physics With Heavy Metal
Contributor(s): Moriarty, Philip, McPartlan, Pete (Illustrator)
ISBN: 1944648526     ISBN-13: 9781944648527
Publisher: Benbella Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.16  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: July 2018
Annotation: Uses principles of heavy metal music to explain concepts in quantum physics in an entertaining and informative way.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Quantum theory; Popular works.
Quantum theory; Miscellanea.
Heavy metal (Music); Miscellanea.
BISAC Categories:
- Science | Quantum Theory
- Music | Genres & Styles
Dewey: 530.12
LCCN: 2018018033
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (0.95 lbs) 342 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):

Philip Moriarty is a professor of physics, a heavy metal fan, and a keen air-drummer. His research focuses on prodding, pushing, and poking single atoms and molecules; in this nanoscopic world, quantum physics is all. Moriarty has taught physics for almost twenty years and has always been struck by the number of students in his classes who profess a love of metal music, and by the deep connections between heavy metal and quantum mechanics. He’s a father of three—Niamh, Saoirse, and Fiachra—who have patiently endured his off-key attempts to sing along with Rush classics for many years. Unlike his infamous namesake, Moriarty has never been particularly enamored of the binomial theorem.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Though Moriarty, a University of Nottingham physics professor, does manage to entertainingly relay some scientific concepts here, it is more in spite of than because of his references to heavy metal. Anyone who doesn't already know where Master of Puppets fits into Metallica's oeuvre, or what the F#7 add 11 chord contributes to Rush's musicianship, may be a bit lost. The math-allergic, meanwhile, will be daunted by Moriarty's reliance on formulae, graphs, and other mathematical tools, including numerous uses of Fourier analysis and transformation, "a way of taking a complex mathematical function and breaking it into simpler functions." Those who persevere will discover a winning sense of humor and even snarkā€”at one point Moriarty debunks purveyors of "quantum woo," such as Deepak Chopra, who suggest that quantum effects occurring at an atomic and subatomic level apply to the macroscopic human-scale world. He also makes points that may be new to lay readers interested in quantum physics, chief among them that "the observer effect is distinct from Heisenberg's famous principle," something about which Heisenberg himself was mistaken. Confirmed heavy metal fans and determined heavy metal neophytes will learn something new and have a good time doing so, while others will be left in the quantum fog. (Aug.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.