Review: Quantum Fuzz
by Jeff Foust
|He even briefly mentions the concept of the space elevator in a discussion about carbon nanotubes, but isn’t a fan of the idea: “I don’t expect you to take this too seriously,” he notes.|
Part of that is an examination of our understanding the universe. One section of the book looks at cosmology, including models of the Big Bang and how it’s influenced by quantum mechanics and conditions in the instant after the Big Bang. This is all incorporated into a single chapter in the book, running about 70 pages—far longer than other chapters in the book—yet feeling a little rushed at times as Walker tries to include everything from the cosmic microwave background to gravitational waves (which he incorrectly calls “gravity waves” in the book.)
Other sections of the book examine other, more practical, applications of quantum mechanics, from chemistry to semiconductors. He even briefly mentions the concept of the space elevator in a discussion about carbon nanotubes, but isn’t a fan of the idea: “(I don’t expect you to take this too seriously,)” he parenthetically notes before a passage about how a space elevator could work.
Quantum Fuzz is not the book you’d want to read first if you’re just looking for a discussion of astrophysics or cosmology. And the book’s style may leave something to be desired, with frequent sidebars and passages rendered in a different, smaller font for reasons not always clear. The use of a “bus tour” approach in the extended chapter on cosmology is also not particularly effective. However, for those looking for a basic introduction to quantum mechanics without detailed math or physics discussions, this book can help explain the quantum universe and its importance to actions on far larger scales.