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Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (English Edition)
 
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Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Andrew Thomas
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

You never knew theoretical physics could be so simple! In this exciting and significant book, Andrew Thomas clearly illustrates the simplicity which lies behind nature at its fundamental level. It is revealed how all unifications in physics have been based on incredibly simple ideas.

Using a logical approach, it is explained how the great 20th century theories of relativity and quantum mechanics share a common base, and how they can be linked using an idea so simple that anyone can understand it.

An idea which is so simple it has been hidden in plain sight.

Biographie de l'auteur

Andrew Thomas studied physics in the James Clerk Maxwell Building in Edinburgh University, and received his doctorate from Swansea University in 1992. He is the author of the What Is Reality? website (www.whatisreality.co.uk), one of the most popular websites dealing with questions of the fundamentals of physics. It has been called “The best online introduction to quantum theory”.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It now starts to make sense 24 mars 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book is an eye opener. For the first time someone has thought outside the box and maybe has the answer. Well written and an enlightening read. Highly recommended for anyone even slightly interested in physics and how it all comes together.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  216 commentaires
80 internautes sur 82 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 He's on to something... but not quite here 31 décembre 2012
Par Spencer Case - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Hidden in Plain Sight argues a thesis that seems hard to believe: the unified theory -- long considered the Holy Grail of physics -- has been right in front of our faces. It's so obvious that an undergrad non-science major could understand it. Yet the world's top physicists have been overlooking it. Dr. Thomas thinks the reason for this is that physicists have been looking for the wrong kind of unification. He writes: "Unlike conventional approaches attempting to mesh relativity with quantum mechanics, [my solution] does not just seek to DESCRIBE the effects of unification -- it seeks to EXPLAIN it."

He adds: "...[I]n the current academic climate, foundational questions seem to be considered the remit of philosophy -- not of physics, and get precious little attention."

Until now. Thomas looks at the similarities between the two theories: Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity which governs macro-level phenomena and Dirac's quantum mechanics, which governs sub-atomic phenomena. Consider a picture of a spaceship drawn on an otherwise empty blackboard. How fast is it moving? Well, on Einstein's thinking it sort of seems like an ill-formed question. In Newtonian absolute space-time it might be completely still, but that has long been consigned to the scrap heap of history. On the new model, it can only be moving or still in relation to something else. On its own, it's has no value. Or, as Thomas thinks, it has EVERY possible value. In short, the way we understand a spaceship in this situation could be the same way we understand an unobserved quantum according to quantum mechanics: every possible value before interaction with the rest of the universe (observation), some specific value after observation. If this is right, then there really is just one set of of laws governing two different kinds of entities at different levels.

Both theories, Thomas thinks, can be deduced from a common first principle which states that there is "nothing outside of the universe" that there are "absolutely no absolutes." This is the part of the book that I have trouble with. What does it mean that there is "nothing outside of the universe?" Since Thomas describes the universe as simply everything that there is -- in an end note he states that even God, if he exists is, by definition, "part of the universe" -- this principle is trivial. It boils down to "there can't be anything more than what there is." Yes, we want the unifying principle to be simple, but it can't be an empty triviality like this! What's more, Thomas is not consistent with that principle. For although he makes it clear that his unifying principle is an empty triviality, he derives substantive conclusions from it, such as the non-existence of other universes. Well, wouldn't those other "universes" just be part of "everything there is?" Maybe the people in physics (and philosophy) who advance multiple-world theories are criticize-able on other grounds --lack of theoretical parsimony, for instance -- but they are not making the idiot mistake of saying "maybe there is more than what there is."

I am a philosopher, not a physicist, but from what little I know, I would say I think the author is onto something. But his forays into philosophy and conceptual matters are quite slapdash and embarrassing. His unifying principle, which he appeals to repeatedly, is not consistent. Neither is the claim that there are "absolutely no absolutes." Moreover, he doesn't explain why the invariance of the speed of light "isn't really an absolute" he just insists it's not one. So problems abound. On the plus side, this book includes the best introduction to quantum mechanics I've been exposed to so far. And it has one potentially groundbreaking idea in it. Perhaps the trouble is not in his ideas, but his inability to convey them outside of the language of mathematical physics. It's worth the 99 cents on Kindle, but deserves a critical read.
144 internautes sur 155 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Here it is in a nutshell. 9 octobre 2012
Par David Ivey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
If you are familiar with relativity then you have probably seen an explanation of how velocity is relative. The explanation goes something like this -- suppose you have a space ship moving through space and you want to know its velocity. It turns out that the answer depends on the observer. If you have a 2nd space ship then an observer on that space ship could measure the speed of the first space ship relative to his own speed. For example, he might determine that the first space ship is moving at 600 mph relative to his own speed, which for sake of argument we could say is stationary (0 mph). However, an observer on a third space ship could determine a completely different speed for the first space ship. Let's say the third space ship is traveling at 400 mph in the opposite direction of the first space ship. An observer on the third space ship could perceive his own space ship as stationary, the first space ship traveling at 1000 mph (600 mph + 400 mph) and the second space ship travelling at 400 mph. It is all relative. Speed means nothing without an observer measuring it against something.

Andrew Thomas takes this a step further. He suggests that we consider a space ship travelling through space without any frame of reference. We know that it is moving, and that we will be able to measure its velocity once we have another frame of reference, so what is its current velocity prior to having that second frame of reference? His answer is that its velocity is "ALL" the velocities between 0 and the speed of light. It is only once we have a second frame of reference that the space ship's velocity collapses to measurable rate.

Quantum mechanics works exactly the same. If you are familiar with QM then you will have seen the light through two slits experiment. When the light passing through the slits is not observed it creates a wave pattern on the surface beyond the slits. However, if we use a detector to determine which slit the photons are actually passing through then the wave pattern goes away and is replaced with a particle pattern. The act of observing changes the behavior of the photons.

Why this happens has always been rather mysterious. Thomas' explanation is really simple. He argues that just like with Einstein's theory of relativity, QM is also, relative. A photon doesn't have a position without a second frame of reference. The photon's position is simply described with a wave function, and only when there is a second frame of reference does the wave function collapse down into a particle position. Without a second frame of reference it would be like a space ship traveling at ALL velocities. Without the second frame of reference the photon passes through both slits. If a second frame of reference is added it can only pass through one.

This all ties into the universe being entirely relative. Nothing exists outside of the universe. This includes time, space, velocity, position, etc. They all depend on one another for any meaning. What Andrew Thomas does is explain the ramifications of what this truly means. My synopsis just scratches the surface. Thomas' book provides a lot more of the details. Furthermore, he does it in a far clearer manner than I did above in just four paragraphs. If the examples I provided are all new to you, don't worry because Thomas makes them very easy to understand.

Intuitively Thomas' view makes a lot of sense. The book is definitely worth the price (especially the Kindle price). One thing I would like to hear is reactions to Thomas' views by mainstream physicists, and how this view is supported by the mathematical equations of QM and relativity.
37 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thought provoking, although not quite standard physics textbook 4 septembre 2012
Par kegraham - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I came across this book on the author's website, where he covers a lot of interesting topics (some of which are included in the book). I assumed this book was a popularisation of standard physics theory (and the author does cover a lot of standard sub-atomic theory in a very concise and clear way), but this book goes beyond that to cover the author's own ideas and theories. This is quite thought provoking, although I would caution that not all of it is universally supported in the academic cummunity. In particular, his thoughts about the links between gravity and quantum theory are interesting, but not proven.
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Important book with great ideas and a novel approach to unification theories 26 juillet 2012
Par David Erie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I really enjoyed reading this book. The author is very convincing about the fundamental principles of the universe and physics. I had trouble following some of his explanations, which may simply reflect on my ability to understand the material rather than on the author's ability to explain it. I also think that the author repeats some concepts too much in order to ensure the reader is following along...the opposite of the aforementioned problem. Overall, this is an excellent, important book that will change the way you understand and see the universe. It is a very fast read that anyone with average intelligence and an open mind can comprehend, which is not to say that it is "dumbed down"; the author simply leaves out math and technical jargon that would detract from the point of the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the universe in which we live. And at $.99 for the electronic version...you can't go wrong!
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A close approximation of a physics pub brawl 29 mars 2013
Par Dave E - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
All the while I was reading this book, I kept imagining the author sitting in a smoky English pub, slamming his pint on the table and repeating his maxims, over and over again. This is primarily because that is exactly the tone of the book. Mr. Thomas could benefit from an editor who could help with things like proper punctuation, eliminating redundant statements (often within the same paragraph), and filtering out the occasional "it's not my fault if they're looking at it wrong" and "any other viewpoint is pure rubbish."

Actually, there is some humor mixed in there as well, so I think I would actually enjoy seeing this play out at the local physicist' pub (maybe called Mind Your Pints and Quarks?).

Mr. Thomas does make an earnest effort to explain very complex concepts in plain English examples, and I must admit he opened some doors for me in areas I've struggled before. I will also give credit for his approach of building up from foundational principles, where experimental methods have previously fallen short. I think that is a good approach.

However, I find his logic falls short throughout...

**** SPOILERS ****

One of his foundational principles was a huge logical leap. If I interpreted correctly, he is saying that since there is observable quantum entanglement, then EVERYTHING in the universe must be assumed to be interconnected. Not just small systems, not just a phenomena we haven't explained yet, his only allowable conclusion is that everything in the universe is connected and therefore the universe must be dealt with as a whole. Perhaps the end conclusion is valid for other reasons, but offering it as the only logical conclusion of quantum entanglement just missed the mark.

He offers a new way to look at the double slit experiment, positing that the photon, the film, and the measurement device constitute a closed system and therefore it is flawed to look at it as just an isolated photon. That makes some sense, except that he fails to include the slit medium, the photon shooter, and many other factors into this system. Why doesn't the photon get "observed" by the slit separator,or the projection device, or the first atom of oxygen it encounters? His explanation was intriguing but seemed intentionally closed.

I also found it a waste of time to spend pages refuting quantum mechanics via Schrodinger's Cat, when, as far as I understand it, that thought experiment was already intended to illustrate absurdity of some of the thinking around the uncertainty ideas. It's as if Mr. Thomas took it as a serious argument "for" and refuted it for pages.

At the end of the day, it seems like Mr. Thomas' main passion is that things like string theory and multiverses are standing in the way of unifying Relativity and Quantum Theory. That may be so, and if you don't believe it, old Andrew will have it out with you down at the pub.
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