By Kenneth Ford, Harvard University Press, $24.95, 304 pages
What makes everything in our world work? Are you curious about how the objects around us operate? Welcome to the study of quantum physics. In order to understand what happens on such a small scale, you have to know huge concepts. And unless you studied the world of the quantum in school, this can be very challenging. That is why Kenneth W. Ford wrote 101 Quantum Questions: What You Need to Know About the World You Can’t See. Ford’s background as a researcher and teacher is evident in his expansive knowledge of the quantum and his desire to make that information available to everyone. If you are familiar with basic ideas of quantum physics you can read chapters out of order. If you are just beginning to study fundamental subjects including atoms, solid matter, electrons, photons and particles, it is best to read Ford’s book cover to cover. You may even choose to start with his earlier book called The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone. Diagrams, photographs and anecdotes help clarify concepts. Ford’s use of understandable examples makes it easier to grasp these complex ideas. Ford is also quite funny which makes this an entertaining and educational read.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin