Sunday, 2 September 2007

The Quark and the Jaguar by Murray Gell-Mann


Thought provoking.

The title says it all in a cryptic kind of way. This book is about the QM world and the macro world we live in and the relationship between the two.

Whilst avoiding much math he does still manage to convey part of his own feeling of wonder at the subject and a notion of what the world really does seem to be like at the subatomic level. I was also pleased to see him railing against many of the more common misuses and usurpations of some "quantum" concepts in an attempt to justify some very unscientific claims of woo woo.

This book refuses to stick to one subject and branches out to cover complexity, the standard model of quantum physics, selection and evolution, diversity and the environment. All in well judged levels of details and in a very easy to read style.

A whistle stop tour of the issues of the day (although this was the mid nineties) and so some of his warnings about extremism and talk of cultural diversity just ring an odd note now and again.

Well worth a read.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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