Written by Manjit Kumar, I picked up this book because I had a natural interest in quantum theory. Before I read this book I pictured quantum theory as being a mystical being that has kept on eluding me. Not that I had made any effort of my own, I had kept a collection of chunks and pieces that I had seen and heard in various documentaries. One of the documentaries that I watched on quantum theory–on it’s applications–was quite enlightening for me, and that cropped up the interest in me to pursue my research further.
This book is definitely a good read if you have no clue about what the quantum theory is, and it’s also good for people who know enough to find it interesting but not enough to understand how it all came about. It dives deep into the history of events that came about in creating the quantum theory as we know it. I would admit that after reading the book I was oddly satisfied having uncovered the mystical creature but also a little disappointed because there isn’t that much to it! It might be because this book talks a lot about the debate between Einstein and Bohr over the nature of reality which is mostly covered in the second half. In the first half it outlines the timeline of the various discoveries, discoverers and scientists who found the key ingredients that were useful for the theory of the the quantum theory. Regarding the scientists involved, it even highlights their personas to make the reading matter more interesting, especially for a certain category of readers.
I think I really liked the way the author has explained a couple of scientific theories in the first half of the book. Towards the end when quantum theory is in full swing it becomes difficult to understand what he’s trying to say due to the lack of visual cues.
I would recommend this if you are curious about quantum theory, and don’t mind a little course in history, but I would have liked it to end on a high note. But as history is not exactly a work of fiction, I am going to have to live with that. That said, it delivers exactly what the book’s title says and more, even. Go for it if it interests you! 🚀