How quantum mechanics brought us the Blu-ray player

"Everybody thought we'd have a revolution in energy, instead we had a revolution in information."

Dr. James Kakalios is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota and a science adviser for movies like Watchmen. In this short video he delves into the history of the laser, and why our ability to stuff more and more information onto a compact disk has been all about the development of new and different laser types. It's one of several trailers for his new book, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics, which attempts to explain how we got to the world we live in today, rather than the future our grandparents imagined—and what all of that has to do with guys like Erwin Schroedinger and

If you're in Seattle tomorrow, you can see Kakalios give a public lecture on Quantum Mechanics in Science Fiction. Nifty! And cheap. Tickets are only $5.