Reddit Reddit reviews QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library)

We found 10 Reddit comments about QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library)
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10 Reddit comments about QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton Science Library):

u/jacobolus · 11 pointsr/math

Your post has too little context/content for anyone to give you particularly relevant or specific advice. You should list what you know already and what you’re trying to learn. I find it’s easiest to research a new subject when I have a concrete problem I’m trying to solve.

But anyway, I’m going to assume you studied up through single variable calculus and are reasonably motivated to put some effort in with your reading. Here are some books which you might enjoy, depending on your interests. All should be reasonably accessible (to, say, a sharp and motivated undergraduate), but they’ll all take some work:

(in no particular order)
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (wikipedia)
To Mock a Mockingbird (wikipedia)
Structure in Nature is a Strategy for Design
Geometry and the Imagination
Visual Group Theory (website)
The Little Schemer (website)
Visual Complex Analysis (website)
Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (website)
Music, a Mathematical Offering (website)
Mathematics and its History
The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics
Proofs from THE BOOK (wikipedia)
Concrete Mathematics (website, wikipedia)
The Symmetries of Things
Quantum Computing Since Democritus (website)
Solid Shape
On Numbers and Games (wikipedia)
Street-Fighting Mathematics (website)

But also, you’ll probably get more useful response somewhere else, e.g. /r/learnmath. (On /r/math you’re likely to attract downvotes with a question like this.)

You might enjoy:

u/uerb · 6 pointsr/programming

Explaining anything quantum is always frustrating, because the logic behind it is completely alien to our brains, and you have to use a complex mathematical framework to explain it ... unless your name is Richard Feynman and you have God-like explaining powers.

Here's a book with transcripts of seminars that he gave explaining one of his theories named "quantum electrodynamics" - theory for which he was awarded a Nobel prize. The seminars were geared towards people who do not have a mathematics background, but are curious and still want to understand a bit more about quantum mechanics. And he nails it. I think that he uses only a single equation during all the seminars, and still he manages to pass the ideas behind his theory very well.

I'll try to explain the advantage of quantum computers without entering into the ... well ... quantum details. First thing, forget anything from the video that talks about "parallelization" and stuff like this. It's not technically incorrect, but it's not a good way to describe the advantages of a quantum computer.

Let us take the classical example of finding the prime factors of a number (which she talks about a bit at the end of the video). This problem has a series of mathematical properties which we can exploit to solve it. The thing is, the ways that we can use these exploits are limited by the tools that we have at hand - in this case, which operations a computer can do.

In the case of this factorization, the toolset of classical computers is not good enough to do this efficiently - there's a key component (named Fourier transform) of this exploit that's reeeeally expensive to be done using a classical computer's toolset.

BUT, quantum computers have a different, more general toolset than classical computers ... including a "built-in" and fast form of Fourier transform. That's why a quantum computer can solve certain problems faster than a classical one: not because it's faster or more powerful (a quantum computer will never run Crysis ...), but because it has a more appropriate toolset to deal with the problem.

For a comparison in terms of real-world computers: take an old Pentium 4 and a modern Core i7. Their clocks are not so different, maxing around 3.8 ~ 4GHz. Still, there is no question that the i7 is a lot more faster than the P4. Why? Because it has a more efficient architecture and instruction set - a better toolset - and can do more at this same frequency. A similar thing happens with quantum computers, but on steroids.

Here's a blog post that explains all this quite well, and in relatively simple terms.. He also explains what is this "Fourier transform" operation in the context of quantum computers.

u/dnew · 3 pointsr/scifi

Personally, I love learning about quantum mechanics and relativity.

Stuff like this: if you want to watch cool animated explanations of advanced science.

* Almost forgot Fermilab:

Stuff like this if you want to read laymen textbooks to wrap your head around QM and relativity: (Altho get the paper versions, because they have diagrams and illustrations and stuff illegible on the ebooks):

All of those are mind-bogglingly cool, as well as being actual real science!

u/charlysotelo · 2 pointsr/Physics

I'm no physicist. My degree is in computer science, but I'm in a somewhat similar boat. I read all these pop-science books that got me pumped (same ones you've read), so I decided to actually dive into the math.


Luckily I already had training in electromagnetics and calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra so I was not going in totally blind, though tbh i had forgotten most of it by the time I had this itch.


I've been at it for about a year now and I'm still nowhere close to where I want to be, but I'll share the books I've read and recommend them:

  • First and foremost, read Feynman's Lectures on Physics and do not skip a lecture. You can find them free on the link there, but they also sell the 3 volumes on amazon. I love annotating so I got myself physical copies. These are the most comprehensible lectures on anything I've ever read. Feynman does an excellent job on teaching you pretty much all of physics + math (especially electromagnetics) up until basics of Quantum Mechanics and some Quantum Field Theory assuming little mathematics background.
  • Feyman lectures on Quantum Electrodynamics (The first Quantum Field Theory). This is pop-sciency and not math heavy at all, but it provides a good intuition in preparation for the bullet points below
  • You're going to need Calculus. So if you're not familiar comfortable with integral concepts like integration by parts, Quantum Mechanics will be very difficult.
  • I watched MIT's opencourseware online lectures on Quantum Mechanics and I did all the assignments. This gave me what I believe is a solid mathematical understanding on Quantum Mechanics
  • I'm currently reading and performing exercises from this Introduction to Classical Field Theory. . This is just Lagrangian Field Theory, which is the classical analog of QFT. I'm doing this in preparation for the next bullet-point:
  • Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell. Very math heavy - but thats what we're after isnt it? I havent started on this yet since it relies on the previous PDF, but it was recommended in Feynmans QED book.
  • I've had training on Linear Algebra during my CS education. You're going to need it as well. I recommend watching this linear algebra playlist by 3Blue1Brown. It's almost substitute for the rigorous math. My life would've been a lot easier if that playlist existed before i took my linear algebra course, which was taught through this book.
  • Linear Algebra Part 2 - Tensor analysis! You need this for General Relativity. This is the pdf im currently reading and doing all the exercises. This pdf is preparing me for...
  • Gravity. This 1000+ page behemoth comes highly recommended by pretty much all physicist I talk to and I can't wait for it.
  • Concurrently I'm also reading this book which introduces you to the Standard Model.


    I'm available if you want to PM me directly. I love talking to others about this stuff.
u/With_a_G · 1 pointr/askscience

I got World of Atoms and Quarks for my own kids. Richard Feynman's book QED is also really good. I don't know your age or background, but learning about symmetries and Noether's theorem are really valuable.

My background is in physics, and though for a time I wanted to do particle theory, I learned of so much other interesting stuff going on while I was in grad school that I'm more content as a generalist. I work in an EE-type job now.

u/tpodr · 1 pointr/videos

If you're looking for a good lay explanation, start here: QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Nice short book by Feynman.

u/nobodyspecial · 1 pointr/askscience

To quote Richard Feynman
>"...there is also an amplitude for light to go faster (or slower) than the conventional speed of light. You found out in the last lecture that light doesn't go only in straight lines; now, you find out that it doesn't go only at the speed of light! It may surprise you that there is an amplitude for a photon to go at speeds faster or slower than the conventional speed, c."

When Feynman said "amplitude" he meant "the square of the probability of an event." The above quote came from a series of lectures he gave at UCLA that were subsequently published.

u/FallsZero · 1 pointr/leagueoflegends

Well, I'm not super well-versed in physics tbh but I use to really want to be a physcisits so I know a little stuff here and there.

I've read:

Also, Feynman is related to philosophy because quantum physics makes many epistemological and metaphysical claims and Feyman made many advances in the quantum physics field. Look up some interviews online, his thought process is really cooled and really makes you wonder about the natural world and how its works/structured

u/TheNegachin · 1 pointr/EnoughMuskSpam

First of all I will say that no matter what you look at, physics is one of those things where you can never be "correct" per se without understanding the math. That goes double for QM which is math all the way down. No matter how you explain it, you will always find that "but what about this exception" can be answered to your satisfaction only by getting a mathematically rigorous treatment of the topic.

That said, for understanding quantum on a "fun" level (i.e. skipping a couple of years of calculus, linear algebra, and numerical analysis), I'd recommend Richard Feynman's QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. A very well-known and highly respected physicist with a talent for teaching. Although "quantum electrodynamics" as covered in the book is not strictly QM as generally imagined, he does cover the core of what is at interest in quantum theory (electromagnetic interactions at a subatomic level) in a pretty interesting and decently understandable way. That sounds like about what you're looking for.

u/McFate62 · 1 pointr/OzoneOfftopic

Have you read or watched Feynman's lectures on QED? I find the book better, but either is a decent overview of the topic.

It's pretty cool how he starts out with some simple but seemingly counter-intuitive ideas, but brings in how they explain diffraction gratings, focusing lenses, etc.