Adam Becker

presents

What Is Real?:
The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics

This event includes a book signing

Date

Nov
15
Thursday
November 15, 2018
6:00 PM

Location

Harvard Science Center
Hall C, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

The Harvard Division of Science, the Cabot Science Library, and Harvard Book Store welcome astrophysicist, writer, and public speaker ADAM BECKER for a discussion of his new book, What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics.

About What Is Real?

Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favored practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What Is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.

Praise

"A thorough, illuminating exploration of the most consequential controversy raging in modern science . . . [Becker] leads us through an impressive account of the rise of competing interpretations, grounding them in the human stories, which are naturally messy and full of contingencies. He makes a convincing case that it's wrong to imagine the Copenhagen interpretation as a single official or even coherent statement." ―New York Times Book Review

"Spellbinding . . . This very book could prove to be a watershed moment for the physics community if it faces up to its own past and its present . . . If you have any interest in the implications of quantum theory, or in the suppression of scientific curiosity, What is Real? is required reading. There is no more reliable, careful, and readable account of the whole history of quantum theory in all its scandalous detail." ―Boston Review

"Impressive . . . [Becker's] strength is the excavation of stories that show how deeply quantum physics was in thrall to the personalities of its developers. The cast is colourful and expansive, and provides engaging drama . . . The subtext running through this hugely enjoyable book is that, if we still have a long way to go before we understand reality, we may only have our own prejudices to blame." ―New Scientist

Adam Becker
Adam Becker

Adam Becker

Adam Becker is an author, astrophysicist, and public speaker. His book, What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics is a “thorough, illuminating exploration of the most consequential controversy raging in modern science,” according to the New York Times. Adam has also written for the BBC, NPR, Scientific American, NOVA, New Scientist, and other science media outlets. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Book Grant for his work on What Is Real. Adam is a visiting scholar in the Office for the History of Science and Technology at UC Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, California.

 
There is NO PARKING at the Science Center. For those traveling to the Science Center by car, there is paid public parking in Harvard Square. More info here.

Harvard Science Center
Hall C, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Event Series: Harvard Science Center Presents Science Book Talks

Harvard Science Center Presents: Science Book Talks is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, Cabot Science Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and are open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Each lecture is followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments.

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

Our Frequent Buyer Card

Members of our Frequent Buyer Program receive benefits at Harvard Book Store and harvard.com. Sign up for free!

Learn More »

Subscribe

Author event updates +
book recommendations.
In your inbox, once a week.

Learn More »

Shipping & Delivery

Shipping rates
and options, locally
and throughout
the U.S.

Learn More »