Friday, June 25, 2010

Absolutely Small by Michael Fayer

I'm almost halfway through this book written for laypeople about quantum mechanics. I am impressed with the clear explanations he provides for this complicated topic. He also, as he promises to do at the beginning of the book, does not use complex math to make his explanations.

The problem with this book lies in how quickly the author introduces new concepts and vocabulary and then incorporates these into his complex arguments. There is no possible way a true layperson could follow such logic. I can follow it only because I have mastered classical physics and taught some introductory quantum mechanics last semester at a JC. There is no possible way any of my students could grasp this material.

I stand firm in that quantum mechanics cannot be understood by laypeople. At least not on any deep level, that is. You must have a basic level of science knowledge before any of it really sinks in.