Around 1900, physicists started to discover particles like electrons, protons, and neutrons, and with these discoveries they believed they could predict the internal behavior of the atom. However, once their predictions were compared to the results of experiments in the real world, it became clear that the principles of classical physics and mechanics were far from capable of explaining phenomena on the atomic scale. With this realization came the advent of quantum physics, one of the most important intellectual movements in human history. Today, quantum physics is everywhere: it explains how our computers work, how radios transmit sound, and allows scientists to predict accurately the behavior of nearly every particle in nature. Its application led to the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, and continues to be fundamental in the investigation of the broadest and most expansive questions related to our world and the universe. However, while the field and principles of quantum physics are known to have nearly limitless applications, the reasons why this is the case are far less understood.
In "Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know," Michael Raymer distills the basic principles of such an abstract field, and addresses the many ways quantum physics is a key factor in today's scientific climate and beyond. The book tackles questions as broad as the definition of a quantum state and as specific and timely as why the British government plans to spend 270 million GBP on quantum technology research in the next five years. Raymer's list of topics is diverse, and showcases the sheer range of questions and ideas in which quantum physics is involved. From applications like data encryption and micro-circuitry to principles and concepts like Absolute Zero and Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle, "Quantum Physics: What Everyone Needs to Know" is wide-reaching introduction to a nearly ubiquitous scientific topic.