Lederman, Hill book launch event April 28 at IMSA

“Quantum Physics for Poets”, by Leon Lederman and Christopher Hill, aims to make the topic of quantum physics accessible to the general public. Image: Chris Reader, IMSA.

Leon Lederman, Nobel Laureate and former director of Fermilab, and Christopher Hill, former chairman of the Theoretical Physics Department at Fermilab, will launch their new book, Quantum Physics for Poets, at the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) auditorium on Thursday, April 28.

The event will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m., followed by a book signing until 4 p.m. Register for the event online.

Leon Lederman

The underlying motivation for writing this book was to get the next generation excited about science, Hill said.

The authors tell the story of the remarkable development of quantum theory in the early twentieth century, Hill said.

“That was such an incredible time period, 30 years that really defined the modern era for us,” Hill said. “It’s hard to appreciate that without perhaps slugging through all the graduate courses, but we’re trying to communicate that in our book.”

The book also describes the impact quantum physics has had, and will continue to have, on technological advances in society, such as in electronics and biomedicine.

Chris Hill

“We thought that the book should be amusing, it should hold your attention, there should be places in which we tell stories that have some relevance,” Lederman said.

While some might think “accessible physics” is an oxymoron, Hill disagrees, saying that the book was written for the general public.

“Even my mother said she could understand this book,” Hill said. “Physics is as much a thought system or a philosophy as it is a specific science. It underlies everything. It’s a rational way to think, and gosh, the world needs more of that.”

The free dialogue and panel discussion is part of the IMSA Great Minds Program. Copies of the book will be available at the event for $20.

Register for the event online.

— Christine Herman