Black Bodies and Quantum Cats (Paperback)

Tales from the Annals of Physics

By Jennifer Ouellette, Alan Chodos (Foreword by)

Penguin Books, 9780143036036, 320pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2005



Physics, once known as "natural philosophy," is the most basic science, explaining the world we live in, from the largest scale down to the very, very, verysmallest, and our understanding of it has changed over many centuries. InBlack Bodies and Quantum Cats, science writer Jennifer Ouellette traces key developments in the field, setting descriptions of the fundamentals of physics in their historical context as well as against a broad cultural backdrop. Newton's laws are illustrated via the filmAddams Family Values, whileBack to the Futuredemonstrates the finer points of special relativity. Poe's "The Purloined Letter" serves to illuminate the mysterious nature of neutrinos, and Jeanette Winterson's novelGut Symmetriesprovides an elegant metaphorical framework for string theory.An enchanting and edifying read, Black Bodies and Quantum Cats shows that physics is not an arcane field of study but a profoundly human endeavor and a fundamental part of our everyday world.

About the Author

Jennifer Ouelletteis the author of three previous books, Black Bodies and Quantum Cats, Physics of the Buffyverse, and The Calculus Diaries. She writes the popular science and culture blogCocktail Party PhysicsforScientific American. She lives in Los Angeles, California."