How to Teach Physics to Your Dog: Obsessive Update

i-1e8ca3d6f1057cdc4f9532702467bc29-sm_cover_draft_atom.jpgA couple of reviews, an offer, and a mystery regarding How to Teach Physics to Your Dog:

The reviews:

  • A review at suite101 that went up a while ago, but I somehow missed in the vanity search. It's a nice, detailed review, and if I had to pick a pull quote it would probably be: "You can be prepared for a good scientific romp throughout Orzel's How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. Thinking like a dog is a big help."
  • Scott at a physics teaching blog has a more recent review: "I often pick up books and don't bother finishing them. This book kept pulling me back to discover what oddity was next. I knew about the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics and I've never felt like it made sense. In the book I learned about the "many worlds" interpretation. While they have the same outcomes, they take different paths at understanding superposition. I'm not sure any of it really makes sense, but the book does a real nice job bringing quantum mechanics down to the science minded lay person."

The offer: A signed copy is being auctioned for the Con or Bust fundraiser. Details over there.

The mystery: Monday morning, the sales rank tracker saw the ranking shoot up into the triple digits again, and I have no idea why. Googling for the book title doesn't turn up any new mentions in major news sources or blogs. I'm not complaining, mind, but I'm puzzled. If anybody knows what happened Sunday or Monday to cause a bunch of people to go buy my book at Amazon, I'd love to know what it was.

And that's what I've got for now.

More like this

To be diplomatic and since I didn't get an answer to it earlier, I pose this again about consistency problems in the above-mentioned MWI as a question (that being Socratic, may not have a good answer/yet): How come the splitting of a photon in e.g. the first beamsplitter of an Mach-Zehnder doesn't right away create separate worlds, but the action of a second BS does multiply "worlds?" Consider that simpler case where we intercept the beams right out of BS1 instead of recombining them. Interference or not, that world multiplication (however imagined) should - by consistency with handling measurement selection issues - still happen per why we find a detection in one detector and not both (the Cat.) But if the first BS "split worlds", then we wouldn't find interference later, no matter how many worlds there are (;-0) I know, David Deutsch talks of interference between worlds, but to me that just confuses the issue even more beyond the original isolationist perspective.

Indeed, "I've never felt like it made sense." Should we just have to accept that it doesn't, despite pragmatic applications based on the pretense we do?

PS I know that Chad is not a gonzo MWI or decoherence-as-panacea advocate, and did not mean to imply that in my infamously irritating blog post. Sorry about that much, but it was agreed later I was correct about the math per se. No more about it from me unless directly relevant. I also appreciate the commitment to free speech here, unlike e.g. Lubos or Not Even Wrong.

Could it have been Boskone and/or Capricon? I could see it being discussed at both of those conventions, even being shown off - and then people might go looking for it.

My theory for the sales spike is that Christmas debt repayment has finally lost its urgency and this past Sunday was the second payday of the month.

Was anyone selling copies of the book in the hucksters area at Boskone? I don't remember seeing any. If there was no way to buy it at the con, it would push anyone who might have gotten interested there to Amazon.

Middle of the month payday, for those who get paid twice monthly, in proximity to the previous Friday payday, for those who get paid weekly.

Probably your brilliant reading at Boskone.

By Jo Walton (not verified) on 18 Feb 2010 #permalink