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A Quantum Life

My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars

Hakeem Oluseyi Joshua Horwitz

$34.99

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Piatkus
10 August 2021
In this inspiring coming-of-age memoir, a world-renowned astrophysicist emerges from an impoverished childhood and crime-filled adolescence to ascend through the top ranks of research physics.

Navigating poverty, violence, and instability, a young James Plummer had two guiding stars-a genius IQ and a love of science. But a bookish nerd was a soft target in his community, where James faced years of bullying and abuse. As he struggled to survive his childhood in some of the country's toughest urban neighborhoods in New Orleans, Houston, and LA, and later in the equally poor backwoods of Mississippi, he adopted the persona of gangsta nerd -dealing weed in juke joints while winning state science fairs with computer programs that model Einstein's theory of relativity.

Once admitted to the elite physics PhD program at Stanford University, James found himself pulled between the promise of a bright future and a dangerous crack cocaine habit he developed in college. With the encouragement of his mentor and the sole Black professor in the physics department, James confronted his personal demons as well as the entrenched racism and classism of the scientific establishment. When he finally seized his dream of a life in astrophysics, he adopted a new name, Hakeem Muata Oluseyi, to honor his African ancestors.

Alternately heartbreaking and hopeful, A QUANTUM LIFE narrates one man's remarkable quest across an ever-expanding universe filled with entanglement and choice.
By:   Hakeem Oluseyi, Joshua Horwitz
Imprint:   Piatkus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   480g
ISBN:   9780349430355
ISBN 10:   0349430357
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   10 August 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Hakeem Oluseyi is an astrophysicist, cosmologist, inventor, educator, television personality, and public speaker. Since 2007, he has been a professor of physics and space sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology, and has served at Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Hakeem has hosted television shows including Outrageous Acts of Science, How the Universe Works, and Strip the Cosmos, which all appear on Discovery's Science Channel, where he has also been its Chief Science Officer. Oluseyi has been profiled by The Undefeated and the TED Blog. Joshua Horwitz is the author of the New York Times bestseller War of the Whales: A True Story, which won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

Reviews for A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars

Hakeem Oluseyi's journey to adulthood is not only lyrical but immensely expansive and powerful. Moving across the American west and south, A Quantum Life encompasses with equal grace matters of particle physics and matters of a fractured family, challenges that are self-wrought and challenges inflicted by racism, triumphs over an academic landscape engineered against poor African-Americans and triumphs of the human heart -- Jeff Hobbs, New York Times bestselling author of THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE


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