Penn State

Julie B. Ealy - associate professor of chemistry, Penn State Lehigh Valley

Book Title: The Dancing Wu Li Masters, An Overview of the New Physics

Author: Gary Zukav

Book Description:

I was first introduced to this book in 1983, when I attended an Advanced Placement Chemistry workshop. I was still a high school science teacher at the time and my knowledge of science involved the textbooks I had used in college and newer ones for the classes I was teaching. The instructor’s (my husband, Jim Ealy) description of the book sounded fascinating, and my interest was piqued to obtain a copy and read it thoroughly. As soon as I returned home from the workshop, I bought the book. It opened my eyes to the historical development of the new physics of quantum mechanics and relativity. It also made me aware that science can sometimes be a continuum of understanding, instead of there always being right or wrong answers.

The book is written by a journalist who had no knowledge of physics. His attendance at a conference at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, California, for physicists opened his eyes to the many connections between theoretical physics and philosophy. He writes the book in non-technical terms that make it easy for a non-physics person to understand. Gary Zukav is truly a Zen master, and of the many meanings of the title of the book my favorite is “patterns of organic energy”, because it denotes the dance of quantum particles such as those of Schrodinger’s cat, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and Einstein’s relativity theory.

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