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Download The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World, by James Kakalios Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (160 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Kakalios Narrator: Peter Berkrot Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the pulp magazines and comics of the 1950s, it was predicted that the future would be one of gleaming utopias with flying cars, jetpacks, and robotic personal assistants. Obviously, things didn’t turn out that way. But the world we do have is actually more fantastic than the most outlandish predictions of the science fiction of the mid-twentieth century. The World Wide Web, pocket-sized computers, mobile phones, and MRI machines have changed the world in unimagined ways. In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics, James Kakalios uses examples from comics and magazines to explain how breakthroughs in quantum mechanics led to such technologies.

The book begins with an overview of speculative science fiction, beginning with Jules Verne and progressing through the space adventure comic books of the 1950s. Using the example of Dr. Manhattan from the graphic novel and film Watchmen, Kakalios explains the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and describes nuclear energy via the hilarious portrayals of radioactivity and its effects in the movies and comic books of the 1950s. Finally, he shows how future breakthroughs will make possible ever more advanced medical diagnostic devices—and perhaps even power stations on the moon that can beam their power to Earth.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Annette | 2/18/2014

    " Great explanations! I understood more than when I took physics and chemistry in college. Also, Dr Kakalios is wickedly funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary | 2/14/2014

    " Overall, I enjoyed this book, but would have liked to read more about the comics and sci-fi stories/theories of yesteryear rather than a overall intro to quantum physics. You really have two books here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by David Gallay | 2/10/2014

    " Warning: some math! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Margie | 2/3/2014

    " Some good explanations of how science-fictiony things work. I enjoyed the use of comic book superhero devices and what they did, why they would or wouldn't work in reality and if they did work, what applications are currently in use. Interesting stuff. "

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About the Author
Author James Kakalios

James Kakalios is a professor of physics at the University of Minnesota. He has published more than one hundred physics papers and has conducted research on a variety of obscure physical phenomena. The popularity of his seminar “Everything I Needed to Know About Physics I Learned from Reading Comic Books” led to the publication of The Physics of Superheroes, which was named one of the best science books of 2005 by Discover magazine. Kakalios also served as a science consultant on the adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen into a major feature film. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three children.