“Dance of the Photons” by Anton Zeilinger

Book cover of Dance of the Photons

Summary

Full Title: “Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation”

This book was substantially enlightening and yet amazingly frustrating at the same time. Zeilinger begins simply enough with the standard story of Alice and Bob (the physicists’ personification of observer A and B), but he turns them into curious undergraduates. They are the medium through which the reader discovers the quantum world after being given an experimental opportunity by their physics professor and his postdoctoral student. The ground is covered and recovered, sometimes providing useful insight and other times being overly pedantic and annoying. Some parts are so dumbed down it may seem insulting, and this also makes the story take a long time to get through. On the plus side you learn quite a bit about polarization, Bell’s inequality, and a number of other quantum topics.

A bit over half way through the book Zeilinger transitions away from Alice and Bob and toward even more recent experiments with quantum teleportation. Here still many parts are well explained and without too many rereads you should have a fair conception of what is going on. Unfortunately some claims are completely opaque and claims are made with no basis. That is not to ...

Book cover of Dance of the PhotonsFull Title: “Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation”

This book was substantially enlightening and yet amazingly frustrating at the same time. Zeilinger begins simply enough with the standard story of Alice and Bob (the physicists’ personification of observer A and B), but he turns them into curious undergraduates. They are the medium through which the reader discovers the quantum world after being given an experimental opportunity by their physics professor and his postdoctoral student. The ground is covered and recovered, sometimes providing useful insight and other times being overly pedantic and annoying. Some parts are so dumbed down it may seem insulting, and this also makes the story take a long time to get through. On the plus side you learn quite a bit about polarization, Bell’s inequality, and a number of other quantum topics.

A bit over half way through the book Zeilinger transitions away from Alice and Bob and toward even more recent experiments with quantum teleportation. Here still many parts are well explained and without too many rereads you should have a fair conception of what is going on. Unfortunately some claims are completely opaque and claims are made with no basis. That is not to say I think they are not valid, but the claims are not supported and the reader is left wondering how the author could be so painstaking on certain points and so blasé on others.

If you are a patient soul and feel like you have a lot to understand with regards to quantum mechanics, I highly recommend this book.

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