Schrödinger’s Cat on Mandelbrot’s Tree

Science through the Back Door

Original Title: Schrödingers Katze auf dem Mandelbrotbaum

Paperback, with flaps, 352 pages, 12.5 x 20.0 cm, 4.9 x 7.9 in.
ISBN: 978-3-570-55028-1
€ 11.95 [D] | € 12.30 [A] | CHF 17.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Pantheon

Date of publication: October 30, 2006
This title is available.


Rights sold to: Korea (Dulynouk), Spain (Crítica)

Ernst Peter  Fischer - Schrödinger’s Cat on Mandelbrot’s Tree


Mandelbrot’s tree, Maxwell’s demon, Schrödinger’s cat, Newton’s clock, Einstein’s ghost – many scientific ideas and discoveries are connected with a famous name. Ernst Peter Fischer, who knows as no other how to convey the fascination of science in a clear and entertaining way, explains what these concepts are – through the back door, so to speak – and by doing so delivers a fascinating introduction to modern science.

Science is the creation of humans, and some of them have such good scientific ideas that their names are attached to them. Maxwell’s demon is a devilish figure that tries to dissolve the basic laws of physics. Schrödinger’s cat came into this world in order to show us that we will not soon understand what possibilities Nature allows things.

Being put in the role of the demon or in the cat’s situation helps us experience and comprehend close up what effects the laws of nature have and what needs to be known in order to understand them. And whoever lets him or herself in for this will get to know something wonderful, namely the fact that there are no complete or conclusive solutions, but only temporary, conditional ones. The demon, the cat, and many other eponymous ideas – Pascal’s bet, Planck’s principle, Einstein’s ghost – do not deliver final answers. Rather, these ideas offer room for joyful amazement, opening our eyes to the fact that science provides many opportunities for wonder. For this, we owe those scientists who have given birth to these ideas. And by learning about these ideas, we get to know more about the individuals who are connected with them.

With his newest book, Ernst Peter Fischer, the “Renaissance man with passion” (Die Zeit) offers us his personal approach to science.


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