Breakfast with Einstein
The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects
by Chad Orzel
Pub Date 11 Dec 2018
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Your alarm goes off, and you head to the kitchen to make yourself some toast and a cup of coffee. Little do you know, as you savor the aroma of the steam rising from your cup, that your ordinary morning routine depends on some of the weirdest phenomena ever discovered.
The world of quantum physics is generally thought of as hopelessly esoteric. While classical physics gives us the laws governing why a ball rolls downhill, how a plane is able to fly, and so on, its quantum cousin gives us particles that are actually waves, “spooky” action at a distance, and Schrodinger’s unlucky cat. But, believe it or not, even the most mundane of everyday activities is profoundly influenced by the abstract and exotic world of the quantum.
In Breakfast with Einstein, Chad Orzel illuminates the strange phenomena lurking just beneath the surface of our ordinary lives by digging into the surprisingly complicated physics involved in his (and anyone’s) morning routine. Orzel, author of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog, explores how quantum connects with everyday reality, and offers engaging, layperson-level explanations of the mind-bending ideas central to modern physics.
From the sun, alarm clocks, and the red glow of a toaster’s hot filaments (the glow that launched quantum mechanics) to the chemistry of food aroma, a typical day is rich with examples of quantum weirdness. Breakfast with Einstein reveals the hidden physics all around us, and after reading this book, your ordinary mornings will never seem quite as ordinary again.
"Physics is everywhere and in every thing, and no one explains physics better than Chad Orzel. This book is a meal for your mind." —John Scalzi
"Fans of quantum physics will be informed and entertained." —Booklist
"Common wisdom paints quantum mechanics as one of the most abstract and esoteric of subjects, daunting for non-experts. Yet, as Chad Orzel wonderfully shows in Breakfast with Einstein, a full gamut of our commonplace daily activities—from boiling water for tea on a glowing range to taking and exchanging photos with our electronic cameras and phones—depends on quantum rules. By focusing on how quantum mechanisms guide the workings of his typical morning routine, Orzel cleverly brings those important principles close to home.” —Paul Halpern, author of The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
"Prof. Orzel draws us in with the everyday experience. And then we find we are on a journey of more than 100 years of physics. The reader is rewarded not only with a deeper understanding of everyday things, but also learns how physicists themselves look the world every day." —David Saltzberg, professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA