My Reading List 2018 Curation #2

Novels and plays that prompt your metaphysical thinking while tugging at your heart’s string

Western Literature

Copenhagen by Michael Frayn

Why this book: recommended by a Physics major at Yale-NUS College. If you want to learn about quantum mechanics and all the jazz with modern Physics in an entertaining way, this is the perfect read for you. The same meeting between two renowned physicists, Bohr and Heisenberg during WWII, played and replayed thrice, each time with a different perspective and possibility of what truly happened on that winter afternoon in Copenhagen. Universes entangle, truths travel as both waves and particles. Wait until your heart rides on the neutron accelerator towards the Great Collision…

Excerpt: the whole development of Physics is a chronicle of man’s exploration of his place within the universe.

(Bohr to Heisenberg) We put man back at the centre of the universe. Throughout history we keep exiling ourselves to the periphery of things… a mere adjunct of God’s unknowable purposes… And no sooner have we recovered ourselves in the Renaissance, and become the measure of all things, than we’re pushed aside again by the products of our own reasoning! We’re dwarfed again by the laws of classical mechanics that exist whether we exist or not. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, we’re suddenly forced to rise from our knees again…Einstein showed that measurement is a human act from the viewpoint of a possible observer…

then here in Copenhagen we discover that there is no objective universe. That the universe only exists as a series of approximations. Only within the limits determined by our relationship with it. Only through the understanding lodged inside the human head.

Recommended ***** on commute rides and as a bedside read!

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