Mr. Earbrass Writes a Pop-Science Book

Holding TUH not very neatly done up in pink butcher’s paper, whcih was all he could find in a last-minute search before leaving to catch his train for London, Mr Earbrass arrives at the offices of his publishers to deliver it. The stairs look oddly menacing, as though he might break a leg on one of them. Suddenly, the whole thing strikes him as very silly, and he thinks he will go and drop his parcel off the Embankment and thus save everyone concerned a good deal of fuss.

– Edward Gorey, The Unstrung Harp; or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel

I have just now sent off the (hopefully) final manuscript of the book-in-progress. The last round of comments that I got a couple of weeks ago was relatively minor, thank God. It’s remarkably difficult to proofread changes to a 200-odd page manuscript, all the same. I can’t wait to see what the copyeditors do to it…

I’m not quite ready to drop the whole thing off the Embankment, and email spares my publisher dealing with pink butcher’s paper, but it is an odd feeling.

The table of contents:

Bunnies Made of Cheese:

Quantum Physics for Dogs, v4.0.3

  • Introduction:

    Why Talk to Your Dog About Physics?:

    An Introduction to Quantum Physics______________________ 3
  • Chapter 1:

    Which Way? Both Ways: Particle-Wave Duality__________________ 15
  • Chapter 2:

    Where’s My Bone?: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle_________ 50
  • Chapter 3:

    Schrödinger’s Dog: The Copenhagen Interpretation_______________ 77
  • Chapter 4:

    Many Worlds, Many Treats: The Many-Worlds Interpretation______ 111
  • Chapter 5:

    Are We There Yet?: The Quantum Zeno Effect___________________ 144
  • Chapter 6:

    No Digging Required: Quantum Tunneling_______________________ 163
  • Chapter 7:

    Spooky Barking at a Distance: Quantum Entanglement____________ 190
  • Chapter 8:

    Beam Me a Bunny: Quantum Teleportation______________________ 226
  • Chapter 9:

    Bunnies Made of Cheese: Virtual Particles and

    Quantum Electro-Dynamics_____________________________ 258
  • Chapter 10:

    Beware of Evil Squirrels: Mis-uses of Quantum Physics____________ 284
  • Further Reading___________________________________________________ 308
  • Glossary__________________________________________________________ 310

This may look dramatically longer than the previous drafts, but that’s mostly because the previous drafts were space-and-a-half, and I bumped this one up to double-space. It’s actually a couple of pages shorter, mostly from Chapter 7.

The “Further Reading” section is something I’ve had kicking around for a while. The Glossary is a late addition, added during the previous draft. It doesn’t have a formal bibliography at present, because I think that tends to look a little scary, and it’s not like the target audience is going to run out and read Zeitschrift fur Physik articles, anyway. I do have most of a bibliography (it was complete a couple of drafts ago, but some bits have changed), which will eventually go up on a web page for interested readers.

And now, I need to find something else to do with my free time. Like, say, my day job… Exam grading, here I come.

Comments

  1. #1 Jennifer Ouellette
    February 22, 2009

    Congrats! Now it’s time to rediscover your life… :)

  2. #2 Colin M
    February 22, 2009

    “It’s remarkably difficult to proofread changes to a 200-odd page manuscript.”

    As someone currently writing a Ph.D. thesis, I hear ya :(

  3. #3 Anna K.
    February 22, 2009

    Thanks be to Dog. Somehow I missed physics classes. Can’t wait to read it.

  4. #4 Jonathan Vos Post
    February 23, 2009

    Extreme congratulations. Nobody who has NOT snailmailed a complete book manuscript can understand the quantum superposition of relief, anxiety, hope, and dread. We await word…

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