'What a delight! Totally Random explores some of the strangest features of quantum theory–and introduces some of the most important new devices that exploit quantum weirdness–in a way that is accessible, smart, and funny. An entanglement page-turner!' – David Kaiser, author of How the Hippies Saved Physics

260 pages/2018 – World English Language (Princeton University Press)

260 pages/2018 – World English Language (Princeton University Press)

Totally Random

 Why Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics  – A Serious Comic on Entanglement

Tanya Bub & Jeffrey Bub

A thought experiment in the form of a comic: an adventure undertaken from the safety of your armchair into the weird world of quantum entanglement, the greatest mystery of our time.

Imagine you have two coins. Flip them starting heads up, they land opposite (one heads, one tails). Flip them starting any other way, they land the same (both heads or both tails). It sounds straightforward enough. But if NASA and Google and Apple and all the smartest people in the world had an unlimited budget and unlimited time, they couldn’t build coins like these, or even write a program that runs on two separate computers to simulate the correlation of these coins. 

Yet in the world of the very small, elementary particles can do what NASA, Google, Apple and all the smartest people in the world can’t. One particle (or ‘coin’) can seemingly influence another in an instantaneous, faster-than-light way without anything passing between them. Were they to fly off to opposite ends of the universe, they would still act in unison, as if transcending space and time. This seemingly magical correlation – dubbed ‘entanglement’ by Erwin Schrödinger – lies at the heart of what is so mysterious about quantum theory.

Funny, addictive and mind-bending, Totally Random is a uniquely imaginative comic that places a pair of quantum coins in your hands so that you can grapple firsthand with entanglement and its bewildering consequences. You’ll finally experience that wonderful ‘Aha!’ moment you get from properly understanding why the world doesn’t work the way you think it does. And you’ll get to see how this magical correlation allows us to do some pretty cool and crazy stuff such as write uncrackable codes, perform fantastically fast computations and teleport particles.

It’s the only book about quantum theory you ever need to read, a brilliantly original guide to both the true nature of reality and a technological revolution that looks set to transform our lives.