Quantum Physics for Dogs, v3.0.1

I haven’t sent it off to my editor yet– I need to look it over one more time to see if there are horrible mistakes anywhere– but I’m officially declaring the third draft of the book-in-progress to be complete. It clocks in at 61,518 words, and 240 pages. That’s 50% more words than the contract calls for, but it is down 8,000 words and 23 pages from the second draft.

Most of the reduction came from dropping the former Chapter 9, which was an uneasy fit with the rest of the material. It may become a web site extra at some point in the future. The rest of the edits included some substantial re-working of Chapters 2 and 5, dropping whole sections of each, along with a general tightening up of everything. I think it’s less conversational than the previous draft, but it’s probably punchier, if that makes sense.

This ought to be the official final turned-in draft, though I’m sure there are a host of things to be done after this. For now, I’m going to enjoy being Done, and head off to Scenic Whitney Point for the holidays.

For those who care, the table of contents is below the fold.

Quantum Physics for Dogs, v3.0.1

Introduction
    Why Talk to Your Dog About Physics?: 
    An Introduction to Quantum Physics____________________________2
Chapter 1: 
    Which Way? Both Ways: Particle-Wave Duality__________________11
Chapter 2: 
    Where's My Bone?: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle__________38
Chapter 3: 
    Schrödinger's Dog: The Copenhagen Interpretation________________59
Chapter 4: 
    Many Worlds, Many Treats: The Many-Worlds Interpretation________85
Chapter 5: 
    Are We There Yet?: The Quantum Zeno Effect___________________110
Chapter 6: 
    No Digging Required: Quantum Tunneling_______________________125
Chapter 7: 
    Spooky Barking at a Distance: Quantum Entanglement____________146
Chapter 8: 
    Beam Me a Bunny: Quantum Teleportation______________________174
Chapter 9:
    Bunnies Made of Cheese: Virtual Particles and 
        Quantum Electro-Dynamics________________________________198
Chapter 10: 
    Beware of Evil Squirrels: Mis-uses of Quantum Physics____________222

Comments

  1. #1 notedscholar
    December 24, 2008

    This is an interesting mixture of a standard tract promoting quantum physics, plus a subtle critique of Chomskyan linguistics (particularly the so-called “Minimalism Program”).

    Why did chapter 9 not fit in?

    NS
    http://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/

  2. #2 eddie
    December 24, 2008

    Nope. Chapter 9 is right there. I can see it.

    This quantum stuff is spooky!

  3. #3 dean
    December 24, 2008

    Sweet – keep us posted on the progress.

    Lighter note: “Where’s My Bone?: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle” – didn’t Ron Jeremy make a movie with this same title?

  4. #4 CCPhysicist
    December 24, 2008

    I think the idea of a web version would solve many of the problems with “technical detail” you mentioned in your previous post about the book. Each chapter could conclude with a fine print paragraph identifying points that get elaborated on the web.

    If it gets published in Kindle format, there might even be a way to sell or just download extra material to interested parties.

  5. #5 Chad Orzel
    December 24, 2008

    Why did chapter 9 not fit in?

    The former chapter 9 (which was chapter 10 in the last draft) was on extra dimensions. Which was there mostly because I thought of a really good joke for the dog dialogue– it’s more quantum gravity/ relativity than the low-energy quantum stuff that’s in the rest of the book. It wasn’t a great fit with the rest of the material, and length was becoming an issue, so I decided to drop it.

  6. #6 Mark
    December 24, 2008

    Didn’t I see this on Gromit’s bookshelf?

  7. #7 Tom
    December 25, 2008

    This quantum stuff is spooky!

    It’s really spooky to see it in action, from a distance.

  8. #8 Jonathan Vos Post
    December 26, 2008

    Merry (X^n)-mas, by induction. SteelyKid looks good in Tartan. Which is a flashback to the two Glasgow Worldcons? Or a Scottish background for Chad or Kate? Or a wee nip of single malt in the baby bottle? Or simply that SteelyKid looks good in Tartan?

    My son is home briefly, in between his semester’s final exams at law school, and a short ski trip to Big Bear and the copious new snow. We went to Xmas dinner at a physicist friend’s home, wished everyone “Happy Newton’s Birthday), reminisced about how 40 years earlier, to the day, Borman et al read from Genesis on live TV while orbiting the Moon, consumed vast quantities of Prime Rib, and politely avoided complaining about the host’s 91-year-old dad’s misadjusted hearing aids, which caused him to insist on cranking up the audio volume of the Mormon Tabernacle Chopirs singing Xmas carols, and then (once it was too loud for conversation) bombarding us with things that he believes because he read them on the internet, such as that Obama is Islamic.

    Said host’s dad then gifted me with two books, which contradicted each other, one a fundamentalist bag o’ hype about the Last Days and Jerusalem, and the other a thoughtful scholarly tome on the Islamic geopolitical world. My son gave me “Dirt for Art’s Sake: Books on Trial from Madame Bovary to Lolita” by Elisabeth Ladenson. My main gift to family is my $800.00 worth of Rose Bowl tickets.

    My dog explained at length how much she appreciated the Prime Rib bone. In semi-classical terms.