Books

Computing with Quantum Cats

John Gribbin

The quantum computer is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Pioneering physicists are on the brink of unlocking a new quantum universe which provides a better representation of reality than our everyday experiences and common sense ever could. The birth of quantum computers – which, like Schrödinger’s famous ‘dead and alive’ cat, rely on entities like electrons, photons or atoms existing in two states at the same time – is set to turn the computing world on its head.

In his fascinating study of this cutting-edge technology, John Gribbin updates his previous views on the nature of quantum reality, arguing for a universe of many parallel worlds where ‘everything is real’. Looking back to Alan Turing’s work on the Enigma machine and the first electronic computer, Gribbin explains how quantum theory developed to make quantum computers work in practice as well as in principle. He takes us beyond the arena of theoretical physics to explore their practical applications – from machines which learn through ‘intuition’ and trial and error to unhackable laptops and smartphones. And he investigates the potential for this extraordinary science to create a world where communication occurs faster than light and teleportation is possible.

Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution

John Gribbin

Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian physicist famous for his contribution to quantum physics. He won the Nobel Prize in 1933 and is best known for his thought experiment of a cat in a box, both alive and dead at the same time, which revealed the seemingly paradoxical nature of quantum mechanics.

Schrödinger was working at one of the most fertile and creative moments in the whole history of science. By the time he started university in 1906, Einstein had already published his revolutionary papers on relativity. Now the baton of scientific progress was being passed to a new generation: Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac, Niels Bohr, and of course, Schrödinger himself.

In this riveting biography John Gribbin takes us into the heart of the quantum revolution. He tells the story of Schrödinger's surprisingly colourful life (he arrived for a position at Oxford University with both his wife and mistress). And with his trademark accessible style and popular touch, he explains the fascinating world of quantum mechanics, which underpins all of modern science.

The Reason Why

John Gribbin

In The Reason Why: The Miracle of Life on Earth John Gribbin shows what makes our planet so special, explaining why the 'Fermi Paradox' - the apparent absence of alien life - holds the key to our uniqueness.

There are several hundred billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, yet out of all of these Earth is the only planet with intelligent life on it. Why?

For the first time, John Gribbin makes the link between the whole series of cosmic events that gave rise to our civilization - a unique set of circumstances that have not, and could not, occur anywhere else.

John Gribbin is our best, most accessible guide to the big questions of science. In this book, he explores the biggest questions of all: why are we here, what does it mean to be alone in the universe - and do we have a future?

'The master of popular science writing'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Times

'A fascinating journey through space and time ... this book presents an exciting insight into the many fortuitous events and cosmic quirks that have all come together to make Earth such a life-friendly world' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Science Focus

'Lyrical, enormously readable ... John Gribbin explains just how our home world appears to be special, and exactly what we have to be thankful for' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;The Times Higher Education

John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and In Search of the Multiverse. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

In Search Of Schrodinger's Cat

John Gribbin

Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering.

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an even more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, super conductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics.

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world.

He Knew He Was Right

John Gribbin

Jim Lovelock is an iconic figure in British science, a prophet whose prophecies are coming true. This is his definitive authorised biography. Lovelock is best known as the 'father' of Gaia theory, which isnow established as the most useful way of understanding the dramatic changes happening to the environment of the Earth.

But few people know about his early work as a chemist and inventor - work which included inventing the detectors used to search for life on Mars, and blowing the whistle on the depletion of ozone layer. In his personal life, he was a Quaker and conscientious objector in World War Two (later changing his mind in view of the evils of Nazism), supported his family for a time by selling his own blood, and gave up a salary and security to become an independent scientist based in an English village - from which all his best known work emerged.

As he approaches his 90th birthday, looking forward to going into space, this book truly reveals an independent, original and inspiring life.

The Universe

John Gribbin

John Gribbin's The Universe: A Biography explores the story of our cosmos, from the mystery of its origins to how scientists think it might end.

<ul><li>How did the universe grow from a tiny fireball to its present size?</li><li>Where did life on earth come from? </li><li>How do planets form? </li><li>How will the universe end? </li><li>And how do we even know all this anyway? </li></ul>

John Gribbin, one of Britain's most popular writers about science and the people who made it happen, has decided to create a biography of the greatest subject of all: the universe itself, from beginning to end (and beyond).

From the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, the formation of stars and galaxies and the first stirrings of life, to the latest thinking on dark matter and a theory of everything - and beyond to the future possibility of a Big Crunch or a Big Rip - this is the life history of the entire world around us.

'If you really want to know about the greatest story there is, then this is the book to read'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Independent on Sunday

'As clear an account of current thinking on the subject as we are likely to get' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Daily Telegraph

'One of Britain's best and most prolific science writers' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Telegraph

'The master of popular science writing'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Times

John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and In Search of the Multiverse. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

The Fellowship

John Gribbin

From the bestselling author of Science: A History comes the enthralling story of a revolution that shook the world. Seventeenth-century England was racked by civil war, plague and fire; a world ruled by superstition and ignorance. A series of meetings of 'natural philosophers' in Oxford and London saw the beginning of a new method of thinking based on proof and experiment. John Gribbin's gripping, colourful account of this unparalleled time of discovery explores the impact of the Royal Society, culminating with Isaac Newton's revolutionary description of the universe and Edmund Halley's prediction of the return of a comet in 1759. This compelling book shows the triumph not as the work of one isolated genius, but of a Fellowship.

The Fellowship

John Gribbin

From the bestselling author of Science: A History comes the enthralling story of a revolution that shook the world. Seventeenth-century England was racked by civil war, plague and fire; a world ruled by superstition and ignorance. A series of meetings of 'natural philosophers' in Oxford and London saw the beginning of a new method of thinking based on proof and experiment. John Gribbin's gripping, colourful account of this unparalleled time of discovery explores the impact of the Royal Society, culminating with Isaac Newton's revolutionary description of the universe and Edmund Halley's prediction of the return of a comet in 1759. This compelling book shows the triumph not as the work of one isolated genius, but of a Fellowship.

Deep Simplicity

John Gribbin

Simplifying chaos and complexity theory for the perplexed, John Gribbin's Deep Simplicity: Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life brilliantly illuminates the harmony underlying our existence.

The world around us can be a complex, confusing place. Earthquakes happen without warning, stock markets fluctuate, weather forecasters seldom seem to get it right - even other people continue to baffle us. How do we make sense of it all?

In fact, John Gribbin reveals, our seemingly random universe is actually built on simple laws of cause and effect that can explain why, for example, just one vehicle braking can cause a traffic jam; why wild storms result from a slight atmospheric change; even how we evolved from the most basic materials. Like a zen painting, a fractal image or the pattern on a butterfly's wings, simple elements form the bedrock of a sophisticated whole.

'The master of popular science writing'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Times

'What makes Deep Simplicity different from other books on complexity theory is that Gribbin ... goes back to the fundamentals'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Daily Telegraph

'One is left feeling even more - if this is possible - filled with admiration for science and delight at the world it investigates'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Financial Times

John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and In Search of the Multiverse. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Science: A History

John Gribbin

From award-winning science writer John Gribbin, Science: A History is the enthralling story of the men and women who changed the way we see the world, and the turbulent times they lived in.

From Galileo, tried by the Inquisition for his ideas, to Newton, who wrote his rivals out of the history books; from Marie Curie, forced to work apart from male students for fear she might excite them, to Louis Agassiz, who marched his colleagues up a mountain to prove that the ice ages had occurred.

Filled with pioneers, visionaries, eccentrics and madmen, this is the history of science as it has never been told before.

'Gripping and entertaining ... Wonderfully and pleasurably accessible' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Independent on Sunday

'Tremendous ... moves me to bestow a reviewer's cliché I long ago vowed never to use: a tour de force' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Spectator

'A magnificent history ... enormously entertaining' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Daily Telegraph

'A splendid book ... demolishes innumerable myths and exposes the factual roots of some of science's well known tales (for example, Galileo never dropped weights of different sizes from Pisa's leaning tower)' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Economist

'We experience his subjects' triumphs and failures as if we knew them personally ... I found myself whizzing through the pages' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Telegraph

John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and In Search of the Multiverse. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Biography

John and Mary Gribbin are two of today's greatest writers of popular science. Together they have collaborated on many books, including Ice Age, Richard Feynman: A Life in Science and Stardust. John is also the author of bestselling titles including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Science: A History and Deep Simplicity.