's recent book is one of the most enjoyable and informative books on the history of science that you'll read, full-stop. The deservedly award-winning How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival
(W.W. Norton, 2012) takes readers into the "hazy, bong-filled excesses of the 1970s New Age movement" in order to explain and reveal the origins of some of the most transformative breakthroughs in twentieth-century quantum physics. Kaiser shows how the roots of quantum information science, a field that has given us the technology behind electronic bank transfers and information encryption systems, emerged from a rich soil made up of equal parts playful speculation, sophisticated calculation, and philosophical reflection, all entwined in the practices of the Fundamental Fysiks Group in the 1970s. It is a story that pays careful tribute to Einstein andThe Dancing Wu Li Masters
, psychedelic mushrooms and the double-slit experiment, opera and Bell's Theorem, quantum entanglement and Uri Geller. It is also a story of transformations in what it has looked, meant, and felt like to be a physicist since World War II. Whether you come to How the Hippies Saved Physics
primarily for the hippies or the physics, you will come away with a sense of awe both for the brilliance of these tricksters and for the deft hand that Kaiser has brought to creating a thoroughly enjoyable account of their lives, work, and legacy.