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How To Teach Quantum Physics To Your Dog

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Publishers Weeklyoct 5 2009

teach physics to your dog…

What do dog treats and chasing squirrels have to do with quantum mechanics? Much more than you might imagine, as Orzel explains in this fun introduction to modern physics based on a “series of conversations” with his dog Emmy. Dogs make the perfect sounding board for physics talk, because they “approach the world with fewer preconceptions than humans, and always expect the unexpected.” Physicist Orzel begins with the basics, explaining how light can be both particle and wave simultaneously a bit like a dog that can split itself into two to chase a rabbit no matter which direction it runs. A look at Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle begins with a hunt for a hypothetical bone. Schr dinger’s cat becomes, of course, Schr dinger’s dog. Quantum entanglement, quantum teleportation and virtual particles are all explained with the author’s characteristic lighthearted touch. While Orzel’s presentation may be a bit too precious for some, readers who’ve shied away from popular treatments of physics in the past may find his cheerful discussion a real treat.

How To Teach Quantum Physics To Your Dog

Cover Copy

When physics professor Chad Orzel went to the pound to adopt a dog, he never imagined Emmy. She wasnt just a friendly mutt who needed a home. Soon she was trying to use the strange ideas of quantum mechanics for the really important things in her life: chasing critters, getting treats, and going for walks. She peppered Chad with questions: Could she use quantum tunneling to get through the neighbors fence and chase bunnies? What about quantum teleportation to catch squirrels before they climb out of reach? Where are all the universes in which Chad drops steak on the floor?

With great humor and clarity, Chad Orzel explains to Emmy, and to human readers, just what quantum mechanics is and how it worksand why, although you cant use it to catch squirrels or eat steak, its still bizarre, amazing, and important to every dog and human.

A dramatic reading of Chapter 4 of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog.

Review: How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog

In his first book How to Teach Physics to Your Dog Chad Orzel put quantum mechanics into terms even a German Shepherd mix could understand by means of a dialectic with his pet Queen Emmy, whose interests run from chasing rabbits to virtual particles. Although the premise may sound like a stretch, as it turns out Emmy asks her owner just the right kind of insightful questions that help illustrate the weird and wonderful concepts that topic contains.

Now Orzel, a professor at Union College in Schenectady, NY, has a new book that gives the same treatment to the other great theory of modern physics. How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog covers everything from Einstein to dark matter, using analogies that dogs and ordinary people can relate to. For instance, the book helps readers visualize a light cone which physicists use in spacetime diagrams to keep cause and effect from getting out of order as time and space stretch and contract by letting Emmy compare it to a dog cone used to keep canines from biting at stitches.

As with his first book, Orzel’s dialogues with Emmy are fun to read and about as clear as a complicated topic like relativity is going to get. In footnotes in the text, he includes anecdotes about the colorful personalities of the people involved in the discoveries he explains. And as a scifi fan himself, he also sprinkles in pop culture references as well as dog references.

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How To Teach Quantum Physics To Your Dog By Chad Orzel

I am a ten year old who likes Physics. What is Physics, you might ask! Well, Physics is the science of pretty much everything around you. It asks big questions like where did we come from? How long ago was the Big Bang? Quantum Physics is the part of physics which talks about atomic and sub atomic particles, basically very very small particles. It is a little tricky to understand the behaviour of these particles. So I decided to buy How to Teach Quantum Physics to your Dog. It is an extremely funny book in which Chad Orzel, the writer, teaches his pet dog, Emma, Quantum Physics. Emma loves to chase bunnies and squirrels in the garden, but the problem is that she cannot predict where they will be so they are able to dodge her every time. Now this is also a problem we have in Quantum Physics. So learning Quantum Physics should help Emma catch bunnies…

If you do not know what all this means, you have got to read this book! It is one of the most amazing books I have read. There were some bits that I didn’t understand but I got the main concept. The book makes it easy to understand physics as well as having a laugh. I give it 9/10.

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