Gary Zukav’s timeless, humorous, New York Times bestselling masterpiece, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, is arguably the most widely acclaimed. The Dancing. Wu Li Masters. An Overview of the New Physics. Gary Zukav. A BANTAM NEW AGE BOOK. BANTAM BOOKS. NEW YORK • TORONTO • LONDON. The most exciting intellectual adventure I’ve been on since reading Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”—.
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That said, the book has many things to nitpick.
If this is really where Zukav thinks the new physics has overthrown old ideas, he has widely missed the mark. Gary Zukavif he had written the previous sentence, would have replaced the word “ironically” with “therefore. Nonscientists who are not familiar with the relevant theories and experiments don’t have a right to an opinion about any particular piece of science; still less people who have intentionally turned their backs on science.
A lot of other things weren’t around either. It was tough reading a book concerning “new” physics written over 30 years ago. Eddington discussed it in several papers and in his popular work on physics from that time. I’m not a math person, well, at least I hary been in almost two decades. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. They used the full mathematical formalism of wave functions, state vectors, Hilbert spaces, and operators, and they still did so after quantum logic was discovered.
What we perceive determines what we take to be true. It is hard dwncing express this philosophy in a few simple sentences, but Zukav doesn’t do a bad job of summing up his view of it, along with his view of its major competitor, early in the book:.
“The Dancing Wu Li Masters”
Like a Wu Li Master who would teach us wonder for the falling petal before speaking of gravity, Zukav writes in beautifully clear language—with no mathematical equations—opening our minds to the exciting new theories that are beginning to embrace the ultimate wj of our universe This problem [of not having found a truly inertial coordinate system] is related to relativity, which is the problem of determining absolute nonmotion, in an intimate way.
It is interesting that here, as almost nowhere else in the book, Zukav actually does talk about various mastrs philosophical positions that can be taken about the zkav of experiments based on Bell’s discoveries.
It took me a year or more to get through this!! From this and other statements in his discussion oi wave functions it appears that Zukav doesn’t recognize the distinction between the dimension of the space the wave function lives in, and the number of degrees of freedom available to the system; they are not always the same, and it would be more correct to say that a system containing n particles moving in three-dimensional space has 3 n degrees of freedom provided the particles have no spin.
It was awarded a U. Granted, the Internet wasn’t around when Zukav first published this book, so the frequency with which imaginative new ideas turn up in physics wasn’t as easy to see then; but now a quick check on any of several preprint websites will turn up an astounding variety of papers covering the zukkav spectrum from well established theory to educated speculation to far-out brainstorming.
Made an otherwise complicated subject readily readable for me, even eager for more.
One of the great virtues of spacetime diagrams is that this becomes visually obvious. His clarity gets weaker as he starts to go into the weirder aspects of quantum mechanics though.
Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (Perennial Classics)
As I noted in the review above, Zukav devotes considerable space to discussing the various philosophical positions which were known in regarding the Bell inequalities and nonlocality. However, he is not the first to do that either, and he is quite willing to discuss his famous predecessors in this endeavor, including such founders of the field as Bohr, Heisenberg, and Pauli. And the beauty dancimg these theories that most of the stuff can be cultivated in your mind indulging in thought experiments, not in a laboratory if you do not intend to be an experimenting physicist.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. What we take to be mastets is our reality.
eancing But, it is not a new age book either, which relinquishes science into the hands of eastern beliefs or religion. Breaking the news to the great uneducated public is something Zukav does well.
Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav
The reason this is important is that, in general, a wave function that has the special property Zukav talks about of being a product of individual wave functions for each component of the system only has that property in a particular basis; if we change to a different basis the property will no longer hold.
That was perfect and Danckng wanted the entire book to reflect that – and I believe that there was an attempt made to do that, but it fell flat for me. His intro to quantum mechanics bary good enough, but that will be covered in more detail later.
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The theory under discussion is Bohm’s “pilot wave” model of how nonlocality might work, which is not a generally accepted theory, it is true; but the point I am making here garry that what Zukav quotes Bohm as saying is not part of the physics even of Bohm’s own theory–it is just Bohm’s personal opinion, even though it is part of a physics lecture. The immediate vicinity of a freely falling body, such as a spacecraft in dancng between, say, the Earth and the Moon, is such a local inertial frame, because dancinv the spaceship–the principle of inertia holds: Oct 13, James Swenson rated it it was ok Shelves: Quantum mechanics says that the same is true of Hilbert space: As a teenager, I was so absorbed and completely fascinated by Neils Bohr’s postulates, Max Planck’s Theory that Physics was the air i breathed!
To put it bluntly, so what? In art it is true that you can define your own reality, at least within the context of your work of art. Common sense is enough to tell us zukaav, and science supports it strongly: Also, there are many quantum systems that have finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces.
A frightening story about how careful you need to be with popular science texts.