How the Hippies Saved Physics

David Kaiser is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Book website:

Named as a Top 10 Book of 2012 by

How the Hippies Saved Physics
Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival
David Kaiser

For physicists, the 1970s were a time of stagnation. Dissatisfied, underemployed and eternally curious, an eccentric group of Berkeley physicists threw off the constraints of the physics mainstream to explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the "Fundamental Fysiks Group", they pursued an audacious, speculative approach, spinning physics in a new direction, forcing mainstream physicists to pay attention to the strange but exciting underpinnings of quantum theory.
       A lively, entertaining story that illuminates the relationship between creativity and scientific progress, How the Hippies Saved Physics takes us to a time when the unlikeliest heroes raised the science world out of its rut.

"...likeable history of an idiosyncratic recent period in science..."
Independent on Sunday

"...Kaiser highlights the group's key role in keeping some major research themes alive."
BBC Focus

"This is an enjoyable read, with an engaging cast of characters..."
Literary Review

"...fascinating journey through some of the more unusual footnotes in the annals of quantum physics...a book brimming with colourful and curious characters..."
Times Literary Supplement

"It is hard to write a book about quantum mechanics that is at once intellectually serious and a page-turner. But David Kaiser succeeds...Illuminating."

"A fascinating exploration of recent physics history."
Financial Times

"It’s rare to find quantum physics mentioned in the same breath with sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll...I heartily enjoyed How the Hippies Saved Physics."
The Wall Street Journal

"Proof that science is at its most interesting when it is at its weirdest."
Herald Magazine

January 2012 • £17.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 07636 3 • 400pp • 140 x 210mm • 46 illustrations
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August 2012 • Paper • £12.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 34231 4 • 400pp • 140 x 210mm • 46 illustrations
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