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Popular Science
Janet M. Conrad

Richard Feynman

QED: The strange theory of light and matter

One of the problems with quantum theory is that is usually the version from the 1920's which is talked about, but this doesn't answer many important questions concerning the interaction of light and matter. For that you need the more advanced quantum electrodynamics (QED). So how can you find out about this vital subject without spending many years doing graduate level physics? Well QED by Richard Feynman would be an excellent place to start. It's based on a series of lectures he gave for an audience of non-physicists. Hence a lack of previous knowledge of the subject shouldn't be a problem - provided you're prepared to do a bit of work in following his explanations.

The book consists of four chapters. Despite all the quantum talk, the first two chapters really deal with classical wave optics, but in a non-standard way. The advantage of this approach becomes clear in the third chapter, when a few modifications lead the reader to the power of quantum electrodynamics. The fourth chapters looks at some 'loose ends', including renormalization and QCD - the extension of QED to deal with nuclear physics. The book provides a neat way of explaining a difficult subject to a non-technical readership, although I'm not so convinced about its usefulness for those who already know a bit about quantum theory.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 192 pages  
ISBN: 0691125759
Salesrank: 196501
Weight:0.25 lbs
Published: 2006 Princeton University Press
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 164 pages  
ISBN: 0140125051
Salesrank: 4383
Weight:0.31 lbs
Published: 1990 Penguin
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 192 pages  
ISBN: 0691125759
Salesrank: 179675
Weight:0.25 lbs
Published: 2006 Princeton University Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 63.82:Used from CDN$ 9.28
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Product Description

Celebrated for his brilliantly quirky insights into the physical world, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult concepts to the general public. Here Feynman provides a classic and definitive introduction to QED (namely, quantum electrodynamics), that part of quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles. Using everyday language, spatial concepts, visualizations, and his renowned "Feynman diagrams" instead of advanced mathematics, Feynman clearly and humorously communicates both the substance and spirit of QED to the layperson. A. Zee's introduction places Feynman's book and his seminal contribution to QED in historical context and further highlights Feynman's uniquely appealing and illuminating style.