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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 Audiobook, 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: October 2010 ISBN: 9781400186280
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A quirky but sensible explanation of quantum mechanics. Kirkus

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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 David Gallay | 2/10/2014

    " Warning: some math! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Kulie | 1/26/2014

    " A fun book for learning the basics of a ridiculously complex branch of science. Comic book references galore make it fun to read and ground what could be a fairly boring subject in a fun, (almost) intuitive framework. It drags a bit at the end, but the majority of the book is both entertaining and enlightening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 1/25/2014

    " It's no secret what drew me to this book: the subtitle is A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World. Math-free? That's for me. Sadly, as Kakalios admits in his introduction, it's not really math-free, merely math-simple (as defined by a physicist). Still and all, it's an enjoyable read. Kakalios is a self-admitted nerd and geek, and he draws his examples and illustrations from comic books. He's got a very accessible, conversational style, and he's not above a bad pun or two. Do I understand quantum mechanics now? No. Am I closer to understanding quantum mechanics? Definitely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monte | 1/17/2014

    " comic expert, at U of M "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 1/15/2014

    " The combination of quantum mechanics and science fiction and comic books is very entertaining. Listening to a book that relied in many places on illustrations was difficult. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ch.J. Loveall | 12/30/2013

    " textbookish "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 9/26/2013

    " I keep reading books on physics even though it's a bit beyond my intellectual grasp... b/c it's just so amazing! This book is pretty readable and relates the quantum physics to everyday things such as your remote control. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 5/27/2013

    " I loved this book, I would paraphrase from it for months. It had a very easy to grasp discussion of quantum physics with practical applications for examples. To this day I tell my kids that I know how their glow in the dark toys work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karin | 5/20/2013

    " This is a fun science book. my physics son told me about it. you do not need to be a science geek to enjoy this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 4/20/2013

    " This book seems more technical to me than Stephen Hawking. I'm not a scientist by any means but this is really not for the layperson, in my opinion. I only got through one chapter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Melbie | 2/24/2013

    " Very good, very scientific. Explains a lot. Tough for the average reader, though, but I recommend it to people who like to read about science. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathan Henrion | 12/23/2012

    " There is definitely an art for making advanced science palatable for the masses, unfortunately this book lacked that. Some interesting facts, but you need some per-ordained knowledge on the subject to even get going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tone | 7/13/2011

    " I still have a flimsy grasp on thew concepts of quantum mechanics and if this book couldn't help I doubt any book could. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 5/4/2011

    " Fascinating look at the role of quantum mechanics in everyday life. It gets a little technical at times, but overall, an excellent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 4/29/2011

    " Very good, very scientific. Explains a lot. Tough for the average reader, though, but I recommend it to people who like to read about science. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monte | 2/27/2011

    " comic expert, at U of M "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 1/22/2011

    " This book seems more technical to me than Stephen Hawking. I'm not a scientist by any means but this is really not for the layperson, in my opinion. I only got through one chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 12/19/2010

    " Fascinating look at the role of quantum mechanics in everyday life. It gets a little technical at times, but overall, an excellent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/17/2010

    " 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. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Peter Berkrot is an audiobook narrator and stage, screen, and television actor and acting coach. A forty-year veteran of stage and screen, he was the director of narration for the Emmy-nominated The Truth about Cancer. He has voiced over three hundred audiobook titles, winning numerous Earphones Awards, a 2012 Audie Award nomination, and a 2016 Audie Award. He has appeared in Showtime’s Brotherhood and Loosies and played Angie D’Annunzio in Caddyshack.