Be an instant expert on the quantum universe and Bluff Your Way in the subject with everyone you know. No science required, just a sense of humour. From 'gluons' to 'gravitons', and from 'certainty' to 'superstrings', here's all you need to know to sound all-knowing.
Extracts from the book:
The study of subatomic particles is called quantum mechanics. This is strange because the word 'quantum' is derived from the Latin noun 'quantus' meaning 'how much'. In this case, not a lot. And it can be seen within a nanosecond that it is entirely alien to this subject to talk of anything 'mechanical', 'mechanistic' or 'machine-like'.
Einstein, whose work with light and electrons had opened the curtains on the whole quantomime, wavered between calling quantum mechanics 'incomplete' and declaring its ideas to be 'the system of delusions of an exceedingly intelligent paranoiac, concocted of incoherent elements of thought'.
All matter can be broken down into atoms. Atoms are small. They are smaller than affordable apartments in Manhattan, they are smaller than portions at the Ritz, they are even smaller than the chance that a politician will be honest. The full stop at the end of this sentence will be a tiny blob of ink about a millimetre wide which will contain close to four billion atoms.
Never commit yourself about the outer limits of the Universe or the quantum realm even to a 'probably'. Anything you utter with certainty, or declare to be 'probably true' could return to haunt you and, it can be said with confidence, probably will. If you know what's good for you, a 'possibly' is the farthest you will go.
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