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Summary

Did you know that there’s so much empty space inside matter that the entire human race could be squeezed into the volume of a sugar cube? Or that you grow old more quickly on the top floor of a building than on the ground floor?

The two towering achievements of modern physics are quantum theory and Einstein’s general theory of relativity. But, almost a century after their advent, most people haven’t the slightest clue what either is about. Get set for the most entertaining science book of the year.

©2007 Marcus Chown (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Where to listen

This book will tell you that you can be in two places at once, but I would just be in one place when listening, you might miss a very important bit! At no point during my time with this book did I find myself in two places, well I don't think I was.
I did find myself taking an extra deep breath when told that I was breathing atoms once touched by Marilyn Monroe.

I would suggest to those listeners who do not have a grounding or prior knowledge in quantum physics you may want to be in a fairly quiet place devoid of distractions.
I found myself chuckling on the tube thus drawing a few strange looks from my fellow travellers.
Some of the theories do take some head scratching and leaps of academic faith to grasp, some are just beyond my level of intellect, but they are all hugely entertaining.

A great 'listen/read'.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A fun, fascinating listen

This is an interesting book although I am not sure why the author chose this title. The first four hours nicely cover the juicier aspects of QT, but once the principals that have arguably most popular appeal are exhausted, hours 5 and 6 move onto Special and General Relativity and then Cosmology. It could be argued that these subjects have aspects of QT, and the author ties it all up at the end talking about a complete theory of Quantum Gravity and the problems this is posing for science, but this book seems to have had its title chosen before the author wrote it. My point is that this book offers more than what it says on the cover and it should say so. The explanations are for the most part clear and interesting, but because of the breadth of the subject and the alien nature of some of the concepts, six hours does not do full justice to just how incredible some of the ideas are.

Small sections of this book are not ideal for audio, with some of the concepts best described by a simple diagram, but the vast majority of the book is well explained at a light, discussional level, making it a great introduction to what may seem an intimidating subject.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I still don't get it. . but I like it!

Sometimes you don't need to understand something to appreciate it, and quantum physics doesn't offer an easy explanation to anything. This book will not even make the subject matter any clearer. But that's the beauty of it. Chown delivers the reality of its complex nature in bitesize chunks of story telling using amusing examples to accommodate the listener. This is after all, not an attempt to clarify quantum theory, but more a brief explanation of the theories that surround it, including Einstein's general & special relativity.
I found this book most enjoyable and keen to return to. The sub-headings in each chapter provide adequate places to stop & a chance to restart on a fresh topic. It is well read and pleasing to the ear. A nice short book leaving the listener wanting more.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You - Yes it can...

After listening to this my head hurts!

Actually, a really interesting and truly mind-boggling book but it's going to take more than one listen to even begin to understand some of the topics discussed here.

The narration was excellent... even had me believing that he might understand all of this!

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting at first

Obviously taking the vast topic of physics/ quantum theory there is a big choice of material. Unfortunately the selection and it’s delivery became repetitive and labouring. Too much ‘oh my, how mind blowing is this?’ For me, I think I would have been more impressed with when the idea was broached, how it’s developed rather than how difficult it is to get your mind round it. You know like how difficult it is for me to run 100m under 10secs rather than telling me how Usain Bolt does it for fun. I just couldn’t escape thinking they are coming at this the wrong way and trying to justify why they don’t get it. Then in wrap up I heard it was a BBC production, if I had known, I wouldn’t have bought it. This is due to my experiences so please don’t be put off due to my biases. But I don’t recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm not as dense as I thought, or am I?😏

Enlightening entertainment, expanding expectations of an ever evolving entity. I suppose, reading one book on Quantum theory makes me no more a scientist, than standing in a garage, makes me a car. But it has, somehow, brought me a bit closer to asking a hell of a lot more questions about how I understand where I'm from. Maybe Mars after all!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting and accessible

The title suggests a focus on quantum mechanics and its various phenomena which are mentioned and described in an accessible way. It is a bit misleading as much of the book actually talks about large scale cosmology, special and general relativity which I didn't expect to take up that much space in a book with such a title.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting read for the already enlightened

This is a good popular science book, but it requires a bit of understanding of physics before you start, so not a complete beginners guide. (As you might think from the title.)

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mind blowing explanations of the universe!

To adapt a quotation in the book about Einstein, I am sure the author knows a lot about his subject. Listening to it and more importantly understanding it might take several readings. The narrator has a lovely tone and style. But each time you even begin to think you e grasped something like mist it slips your comprehension. I was tempted to return the book. Instead I am going to listen to it again. There is a massive amount of explanation of quantum theory and a nice end-piece about the universe. String theory is briefly touched on but only lightly explained. Frankly ten-dimensional physics begins to make even quantum theory sound less complicated! If you buy this, sit somewhere quietly to listen and be patient. Enjoy!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

simplifying physics

loved listening to this book. it took me 2 days to finish it. I couldn't get enough of it.
Complex concepts explained in such simplicity.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 02-01-11

Brilliant

Though brilliantly read, this stuff is hard to grasp when you don't have the time to contemplate what you've just heard. That being said, it's so nice to be able to listen to it over and over again.

5 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 17-01-12

Complex made simple

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

To a friend - and to an enemy - and to everyone. This book enables a non-scientist to comprehend the nature of existence

What was one of the most memorable moments of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You?

The recognition that atoms do not die. Gives credence to the religious belief that

What about Clive Mantle’s performance did you like?

Not condescending - a 'person-to-person' explanation in easily understandable words of a complex subject

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Reaction was 'why hadn't I read this before?'

Any additional comments?

A must listen for everyone who accepts that the world is not flat

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 21-12-12

Awesome Book

This is definitely the kind of book you can listen to a few times and get something new out of it each time. There was a countless number of times when he explained something that wow me into a spiral of deep thought and when I came out of it I realized I hadn't been listing to what was being said for several minutes and had to stop and rewind, thank god for that 30 second rewind button. If it wasn't for the fact that I have an iPhone, I would have warn that button out by now. Great Book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Oscar
  • 03-05-12

Very entertaining

Good listen for those interested in quantum mechanics. it goes easy and the Reader is good at his job.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 17-09-16

Clear, Concise, Enthusiastic

The book communicated the best information about the state of physics at the time of publication, and did so clearly and concisely, allowing an interested layperson such as me to understand and appreciate the subject. The author and the narrator also ably got the author's enthusiasm for the subject across in a genuine way, without seeming forced or otherwise phony. Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan would be proud, I think.