The Problems of Physics, Reconsidered is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Physics Nobel Laureate Tony Leggett. The basis of this conversation is Tony Leggett’s book The Problems of Physics and further explores the insightful plain-speaking itemization that he developed of the physics landscape according to four basic categories—the very small (particle physics), the very large (cosmology), the very complex (condensed matter physics) and the very unclear (foundations of quantum theory)—while providing a thoughtful follow-up analysis from a contemporary perspective to assess how much progress we’ve made and which mysteries remain or have come on the scene since the book was published.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Gentleman Laureate, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
- Back to the Future – Setting the Stage
- The Very Small – Much the same
- The Very Large – Cosmology
- A Glassy Digression – The perils of affirming the consequent
- The Very Complex – Condensed matter physics meets quantum information
- Understanding – What it actually means
- Different Regimes – Nature’s Scales
- Schrödinger’s Cat – Different domains?
- The Slings and Arrows of Time – Irreversible?
- The Anthropic Principle – Better left unsaid?
- The Future of Physics – From Louis Armstrong to topological quantum computing
“Howard has been able to get people who are top experts in their fields talking in a relaxed and informal way about a remarkable range of interesting and topical subjects, but is not the sort of thing usually put in print in more formal settings. This is exactly what students really need to hear!” — Tony Leggett
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