The Quantum Universe
Everything that can happen does happen
Hardback : 27 Oct 2011
The Quantum Universe brings together two authors on a brilliantly ambitious mission to show that everyone can understand the deepest questions of science.
But just what is quantum physics? How does it help us understand the world? Where does it leave Newton and Einstein? And why, above all, can we be sure that the theory is good?
The bizarre behaviour of the atoms and energy that make up the universe has led to some very woolly pronouncements on the nature of all interconnectedness. Here, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw give us the real science, and reveal the profound theories that allow for concrete, yet astonishing, predictions about the world.
This is our most up-to-date picture of reality.
Download the wallpaper of the jacket artwork designed by Peter Saville for
The Quantum Universe.
View The Quantum Universe Limited Edition signed by designer Peter Saville.
Jeff Forshaw's Top 5 science books
Jeff Forshaw, co-author with Brian Cox of The Quantum Universe, writes a special feature for Penguin UK on the most influential science books he's read.
Beautifully written and captures the wonder and joy of doing science.
2. The First Three Minutes
Still the very best book on the Big Bang.
3. Six Easy Pieces
Lucid and brilliant introduction to physics.
4. The Emperor's New Mind
The subtitle is "concerning computers, minds and the laws of physics". That captures its ambition and diversity - very exciting.
5. The Selfish Gene
Not physics but a gripping and very accessible introduction to the theory of evolution.
Reviews» Submit a review
'A scientific match made in heaven...as breezily a written accessible account of the theory of quantum mechanics as you could wish for - from the Planck constant to the Higgs particle and everything theoretically in between,' Observer
'Mindblowing ... what is novel about this attempt is that the writers take an intellectual rather than a historical approach ... it is a surprisingly rich idea that allows the authors to avoid using too much mathematics' Christopher Potter, Sunday Times
'[Cox and Forshaw] stand together at the cutting edge of their discipline ... despite their elevated status, both men remain tiggerishly excitable about their subject ... Cox and Forshaw's book is a carefully guided tour through this quantum world ... popularize[s] without dumbing down,' Christopher Cook, Financial Times
'A thrilling voyage into the subatomic world,' The Economist Books of the Year
'With brightness and gusto, the opening chapters deal with the culture shock that thinking about the sub-atomic world entails ...They are good at drawing connections between seemingly esoteric theory and everyday practicalities,' Doug Johnstone, Independent on Sunday
'The rock star of science... In Quantum Universe they do a great job of bringing a difficult subject to life,' Hannah Devlin The Times
'Breaks the rules of popular science writing...admirably shies away from dumbing down...the authors' love for their subject-matter shines through the book,' The Economist
'Admirably, Cox and Forshaw...treat topics that do not usually show up in popular books...readers will enjoy this engaging, ambitious and creative tour of our quantum universe,' David Kaiser, The Guardian
'By explaining theories about the world, Cox and Forshaw show that the workings of the universe can be understood by us all,' Fanny Blake, Woman & Home
‘This is not just "tell", but "show" too. With clear prose and helpful diagrams, they march the reader along a series of arguments so that nonspecialists can get a sense of where the core concepts come from … Readers will enjoy this engaging, ambitious and creative tour of our quantum universe,’ David Kaiser, The Guardian
‘The reader is made to work along the way and for those prepared to do so there is much to learn,’ Manjit Kumar, The Telegraph
‘A serious and thorough but charming work about quantum theory,’ Clive Cookson, Financial Times
Peter Saville designs the jacket for The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
Speaking on behalf of both authors, Brian says: 'There are two things about Peter's work that I have always liked. One is, of course, the visual quality - he's one of the UKs greatest graphic designers. But I also like his intellectual depth. We've known each other for a while now, and speak about physics a lot - perhaps too much. I knew that he would design a cover that meant something - that added conceptually to the book, and that's exactly what he's done.
The striking image of the rainbow tells you everything you need to know about the complexity and beauty of quantum theory. A rainbow is formed in the interaction between light and raindrops; some light goes through the drops, some bounces back. But quantum theory tells us that light is a stream of particles called photons, and the photons of a particular colour are absolutely identical. So how does a photon decide whether it will go through the drop or bounce back into your eye? If you understand that, then you understand quantum theory. What better image for a book on quantum mechanics than one of the most beautiful demonstrations of its consequences?
Credit must also go to Penguin for allowing us the freedom to go for a pure Peter Saville cover, unsullied by commercial concerns! We think it's bold, beautiful and conceptually challenging, and in true Factory Records style, that's all we care about!'
Peter Saville, who has designed record sleeves for Factory Records including Joy Division, New Order and Pulp, says of the project: 'The remarkable thing about working with Penguin on the cover, was that it allowed me to deliver what I believe Brian and Jeff imagined. The photograph we've used of a rainbow, serves as a way to understand the phenomenal in the every day.'
Size : 153 x 234mm
Pages : 272
Published : 27 Oct 2011
Publisher : Allen Lane
The Quantum Universe
Everything that can happen does happen
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