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  • Synchronicity

  • The Epic Quest to Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect
  • By: Paul Halpern
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hoyt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Synchronicity

By: Paul Halpern
Narrated by: Jeff Hoyt
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Summary

From Aristotle's Physics to quantum teleportation, learn about the scientific pursuit of instantaneous connections in this insightful examination of our world.

For millennia, scientists have puzzled over a simple question: Does the universe have a speed limit? If not, some effects could happen at the same instant as the actions that caused them - and some effects, ludicrously, might even happen before their causes. By 100 years ago, it seemed clear that the speed of light was the fastest possible speed. Causality was safe. And then quantum mechanics happened, introducing spooky connections that seemed to circumvent the law of cause and effect.

Inspired by the new physics, psychologist Carl Jung and physicist Wolfgang Pauli explored a concept called synchronicity, a weird phenomenon they thought could link events without causes. Synchronicity tells that sprawling tale of insight and creativity, and asks where these ideas - some plain crazy, and others crazy powerful - are taking the human story next.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Paul Halpern (P)2020 Basic Books

Critic reviews

"Paul Halpern has zeroed in on one of the biggest mysteries in physics: objects with no mechanical linkage somehow act in harmony. He gives it a human face by digging into the Pauli-Jung collaboration-there is nothing else quite like it in the history of science." —George Musser, author of Spooky Action at a Distance

"Synchronicity is a sweeping account of humanity's understanding of the nature of causality. With great virtuosity, Paul Halpern weaves together all of the threads of this important story from the ancient Greeks to modern physics while entertaining the reader with insightful character studies and colorful anecdotes. A delightful book that anyone interested in the history of ideas will enjoy." —John Kounios, coauthor of The Eureka Factor

"Synchronicity is a very informative and thought-provoking account of humankind's efforts from antiquity to the present to understand the causal structure of the everyday world and, during the past century, to unite that understanding with the apparently acausal nature of the quantum world of atoms and particles. Paul Halpern writes with remarkable clarity and insight in a very accessible and engaging style." —David C. Cassidy, author of Beyond Uncertainty

What listeners say about Synchronicity

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasantly Surprised

Once I realised that a lot of science history would be featured in this account of the quantum universe, I worried that we may have to suffer a swathe of biographical, “padding,” in the way that seems so common in books of this type. However, the author did an excellent job of sticking to the science throughout, only using the history as a method for explaining how, when and in what way discoveries were made, contextualising the science and casting light on the subject matter without ever losing his thread, or boring the reader senseless with yet another pointlessly lengthy description of a certain patent office clerk daydreaming in the workplace.

Well narrated, by a reader who’s style is as soothing as it is fluent, this turns out to be a pretty comprehensive attempt at conveying some pretty difficult scientific concepts, with some success.

The author seems fully cognisant of the popular appeal to the general public of the subject matter, giving a nod to the rock band, The Police, in his choice of title for this book, whilst discussing the fact that the term, Synchronicity, coined by Karl Yung, denotes the outer limits of the possibilities yet to be mined by quantum sciences, even if some of the conclusions people are reaching are too spurious for hard science and are better suited to the realms of philosophy or the arts. His polite way of warning us that some people sell a lot of bollocks for a fast buck in the name of quantum science, perhaps?

A feast for the scientifically intrigued. Well worth your time.

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superb

one of the best popular science books I have ever read. beautifully blends autobiography with science. and the narration is top-notch too. well done all!

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Slow going at first but good at the end.

There were times at the start of this book that I was about to give up on it, but fortunately I kept going and it got much better half way through.

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  • James S.
  • 12-10-20

Good enough for lay audience, but lacks depth

Halpern is a great writer for the lay person who has no more than a high school science education. But just when it seems he's going to go to the next level of awesome and explain clearly some profound and deep concept that everyone else is afraid to even touch, he drops you on your head and moves on to the next subject.

I liked his other book about Feynman and Wheeler, "The Quantum Labyrinth", more than this one. It offers more insights into the physics, and more interesting character development. He still drops you on your head, but at least you have a smile of intrigue while you land.

The narrator for this audible has a great voice, with good intonation, but dammit why do the publishers allow people who have no clue about the history of physics to read a book on the history of physics??? As soon as these guys pronounce gymnasium as if it's where students go to play basketball, you've lost your credibility as a legit narrator with the type of audience that listens to these physics audibles.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah Crazyhawk
  • 05-09-20

Delightful!

This was a lovely book. I didn't expect as much history as it gave, but was glad of it because I learned so much more. I also gained a deeper understanding of quantum entanglement, spooky may it be. I am glad I read this book!

6 people found this helpful

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  • G. Olsen
  • 25-10-20

Too much detail in the wrong places

This book is basically a history of physics from sun worship to quantum mechanics, and that's a lot of ground to cover. It does a great job of filling in some interesting gaps relating to the relationships between physicists and the historical context surrounding their discoveries, but really focused much less on explaining their theories. My education is in biology, not physics, but I have an interest in the topic and was hoping this could help cement some of the classical and quantum theories together for me. Unfortunately it seems to be written more for people who already have a solid understanding of the topic but may be interested in the background context. And while the title is "Synchronicity," this particular theory is definitely not the main topic of the book (though it is discussed towards the end).

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sycamore
  • 27-09-20

mumble jumble

contains no information of value, if you have a basic science education, this is a waste of time

4 people found this helpful

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  • Hermanubis
  • 07-10-21

Here I go again this is dull!!! Wan wan

This book is for anyone that enjoys a one way conversation about the academic and/or scientific accomplishments of others. The historicity of science strikes again, just like Hawking, Kaku or Tyson, they have no original contributions to the modern world,not even theoretically, and they just rests in Newtonian and Einstenian laurels for lack of a better expression. Good narrator thou, Hoyt did alright, good job Sir.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christian
  • 09-11-20

Long winded

Way too much narative and history to keep me engaged. I couldn't finish it....even the conclusion chapter was long winded.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gdrs
  • 15-05-21

An unexpected justification for synchronicity

Halperin takes a thoroughly scientific perspective on the curious concept of synchronicity. One might expect that such perspective calls for its complete dismissal, but in a surprising twist the author salvages it as a principle that os manifested objectively through fundamental symmetries of quantum physics. The only peeve I have is a bit excessive dive into antiquity..

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-09-21

Book title is not what book is about

This is a generally well written book giving an elementary history of science and a general history of quantum mechanics. Except for giving a summary of Carl Jung's work with Wolfgang Pauli the book does not discuss at all what it's title suggests, except for briefly in the conclusion. If one is generally familiar with the history of physics it is not worth reading.

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  • Caro
  • 27-05-21

Too much Devine wisdom, A waste of time and money.

There was no science. intact tere was more astrology and alchemy than reality. incredibly Boring and Empty tribe.