Move Over, Schrödinger’s Cat

A couple of quick book-related items that I can’t resist posting, even while on vacation:

First, the sales rank cracked the top 500 on Amazon last night, peaking at 396. I don’t know if this is just a matter of relative sales volume being low, or what, but it’s a huge kick all the same. For the moment, it’s the top seller in the Physics category, and #35 in Science as a whole. Statistical fluctuation or not, that’s very cool.

Even better is this excellent online review from New Scientist:

Talking quantum physics with a dog may seem a tad eccentric, but Orzel’s new book is a true delight to read. Orzel, a blogger and physics professor at Union College in New York, explains all the weird and wonderful features of the quantum world through conversations with Emmy – and even though it’s gimmicky, it works.

“Dogs come to quantum physics in a better position than most humans,” Orzel writes. “They approach the world with fewer preconceptions than humans, and always expect the unexpected…If dog treats appeared out of empty space in the middle of a kitchen, a human would freak out, but a dog would take it in stride. indeed, for most dogs, the spontaneous generation of treats would be vindication – they always expect treats to appear at any moment for no obvious reason.”

One can’t help but think that Orzel has a point. But don’t let Orzel’s laid back nature or clever sense of humor fool you – he is explaining some pretty serious stuff. A level-headed and confident guide, he takes Emmy (and the reader) through everything from wave-particle duality and superpositions to quantum tunneling and the so-called “many worlds” interpretation (“many worlds, many treats”).

So, yet another very good day in dog-physics news. And now I promise I will shut up about the book.


  1. #1 Coturnix
    December 24, 2009

    Nice review!

    My second copy arrived. This one is for me (the first one is already being read by Coturnix Jr.).

  2. #2 Wilson
    December 24, 2009

    And now I promise I will shut up about the book.

    Oh, please don’t. I’m enjoying hearing about it.

  3. #3 Technodad
    December 24, 2009

    “Orzel, a blogger and physics professor at Union College…”

    Shouldn’t that be “author, blogger and physics professor..” now?

    Great book, and congrats on breaking 400 on Amazon.


  4. #4 Jonathan Vos Post
    December 25, 2009

    In alphabetical order: “author, blogger, daddy, hubby, jock, and physics professor…”

  5. #5 Mike Bruce
    December 27, 2009

    The comments on that review are alarmingly weird.

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