Nature Loves to Hide by Shimon Malin
Quantum Physics and Reality, a Western Perspective

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The strangeness of modern physics has sparked several popular books--such as The Tao of Physics--that explore its affinity with Eastern mysticism. But the founders of quantum mechanics were educated in the classical traditions of Western civilization and Western philosophy. In Nature Loves to Hide, physicist Shimon Malin takes readers on a fascinating tour of quantum theory--one that turns to Western philosophical thought to clarify this strange yet inescapable explanation of reality.
Malin translates quantum mechanics into plain English, explaining its origins and workings against the backdrop of the famous debate between Niels Bohr and the skeptical Albert Einstein. Then he moves on to build a philosophical framework that can account for the quantum nature of reality. He shows, for instance, how Platonic and Neoplatonic thought resonates with quantum theory. He draws out the linkage between the concepts of Neoplatonism and the more recent process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The universe, Whitehead wrote, is an organic whole, composed not of lifeless objects, but "elementary experiences." Beginning with Whitehead's insight, Malin shows how this concept of "throbs of experience" expresses quantum reality, with its subatomic uncertainties, its constituents that are waves and also particles, its emphasis on acts of measurement.
Once any educated person could explain the universe as a vast Newtonian web of cause and effect, but since quantum theory, reality again appears to be richer and more mysterious than we had thought. Writing with broad humanistic insight and deep knowledge of science, and using delightful conversations with fictional astronauts Peter and Julie to explain more difficult concepts, Shimon Malin offers a profound new understanding of the nature of reality--one that shows a deep continuity with aspects of our Western philosophical tradition going back 2500 years, and that feels more deeply satisfying, and truer, than the clockwork universe of Newton.

About Shimon Malin

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Shimon Malin is a Professor of Physics at Colgate University. A leading authority on quantum mechanics, General Relativity and cosmology, and philosophy, he is the author or co-author of three books and some fifty scientific papers. He lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Published May 17, 2001 by Oxford University Press. 289 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Until the advent of quantum physics, scientists and society described the natural world in empirical terms. The theories of Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger

May 28 2001 | Read Full Review of Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum...

Publishers Weekly

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In order to explain the concepts of quantum physics and Western philosophy, Malin borrows an idea from Jostein Gaarder's novel Sophie's World, and introduces Julie and Peter, two astronauts who discuss the ideas Malin introduces, but these sections are contrived and silly.

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