ISBN 0-387-94340-4 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-387-94376-5 (softcover)
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'Because atomic behaviour is so unlike ordinary experience', wrote
Richard Feynman, 'it is very difficult to get used to, and it appears
strange and mysterious to everyone - both to the novice and to the
experienced physicist.' At the core of the strange behaviour lies
quantum interference. 'In reality', Feynman wrote, 'it contains the only
mystery.' To author Mark P. Silverman, however, the puzzling nature of
quantum behaviour is multifaceted. By examining a few conceptually
simple models, such as the two-level atom and the two-slit
interferometer, the Professor Silverman probes the perplexing
consequences of the 'ghostly' long-range effects that correlated
particles exert on each other, the deep connection between spin and the
statistics of identical particles, and the fundamental role of topology
in the interactions of charged particles and electromagnetic fields.
Silverman - whose experimental and theoretical work on electron
interferometry, atomic spectroscopy, and the optics of chiral media is
internationally recognised - concludes: There is more than one mystery
in the intriguing world of quantum mechanics.
This is a beautiful and clear exposition of how quantum interference,
non-locality, and long-range correlations interweave to produce
characteristically quantum effects that have no classical counterparts.
Silverman creatively unmasks the features of the quantum domain to
reveal the subtle workings of entangled states, second-order
correlations, photon bunching, and interference in time and so on.
Throughout the book, Silverman shows considerable awareness of and
sensitivity to discursive techniques. The text is well-structured and
punctuated by effective rhetorical questions. He also places issues in
context by briefly reporting the debates that surround them.