Spooky Action at a Distance

Author(s): George Musser


Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time: nonlocality - the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it? In Spooky Action at a Distance, the award-winning journalist George Musser sets out to answer that question. He guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. He traces the contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence. Their conclusions challenge our understanding of the origins of the universe - and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics.


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Long-listed for the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. What is space? Space is the venue of physics it's where things exist, where they move and take shape.

An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature. "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)" Accessible and imaginative . . . Clarity and humor illuminate Musser s writing, and he adroitly captures the excitement and frustration involved in investigating the mysteries of our universe. "Publishers Weekly" Can two subatomic particles on opposite sides of the universe truly be instantaneously connected? Or is any theory that predicts such a connection necessarily flawed or incomplete? Are the results of experiments that demonstrate such a connection being misinterpreted? Such questions challenge our most basic concepts of spatial distance and time. In "Spooky Action At A Distance," George Musser beautifully navigates through the history, science, and philosophy of these mind-boggling conundrums, and expounds cutting edge thinking. Mario Livio, astrophysicist and bestselling author of Brilliant Blunders and The Golden Ratio George Musser gives us a fascinating tour of the latest attempts on the frontiers of physics to answer one of the oldest questions in science: What is space? And the wonderful lesson is that the deeper we look into the question, the more captivating it becomes. Lee Smolin, founding faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and author of The Trouble with Physics With clever metaphors and dry humor, acclaimed science communicator George Musser is the perfect tour guide on this wild ride through wormholes and emergent dimensions to the cutting edge of physics. This quest to understand the ultimate nature of space may forever transform how you think about the very fabric of reality. Max Tegmark, physicist and author of Our Mathematical Universe Modern physics is in the process of dismantling the very space all around us, and the universe will never be the same. In this engaging book, George Musser leads us through the thickets of science and philosophy and takes us to the brink of a very different view of the world. Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe Locality has been a fruitful and reliable principle, guiding us to the triumphs of twentieth-century physics. Yet the consequences of local laws in quantum theory can seem 'spooky' and nonlocal-and some theorists are questioning locality itself. "Spooky Action at a Distance" is a lively introduction to these fascinating paradoxes and speculations. Frank Wilczek, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and author of The Lightness of Being and A Beautiful Question"

George Musser is an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor for "Scientific American," and the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory." He is the recipient of a Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the American Astronomical Society and an American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award for Science Writing. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and has appeared on "Today," CNN, NPR, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife and daughter.

General Fields

  • : 9780374536619
  • : Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
  • : Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
  • : 0.275
  • : December 2016
  • : December 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : George Musser
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 304
  • : 13 black and white illustrations, 2 tables, notes, bibliography, index