The original question was Can you please simplify the history of the quantum theory? Every time I look it up I get a very complicated answer!
Seed Expert José Navarro writes:
I assume that you have already looked at the Quantum Theory part of the SEED Science Center article on The Expanding Universe.
A good book on the subject that is widely available for purchase online is Men Who Made a New Physics : Physicists and the Quantum Theory by Barbara Lovett Cline.
-A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking is also highly recommended. It is aimed at helping non-scientists to understand fundamental questions of physics and our existence.
Seed Expert Tony Veneruso adds:
Quantum Theory is definitely not easy to understand. It involves concepts and very small sizes far beyond our common sense or ability to observe without very special instruments. Here are some nice web sites on the history:
- Thall's History of Quantum Mechanics by a chemistry professor in Florida, USA
- A history of Quantum Mechanics from the University of St Andrews, Scotland
- Online Historical Notes for the "Quantum Phenomena" section of the book "A New Kind of Science" by Stephen Wolfram.
Here are my favorite books that give the history of Quantum without too much math:
- Thirty years that shook physics: The story of the quantum theory by George, Gamow, Dover, 1966.
- Cartoon guide to physics by Larry Gonick and Art Huffman, Harper Perennial, 1990
- Feynman lectures on physics, Vol Iii, Richard P Feynman, Addison-Wesley, 1965, 1989
- Six easy pieces: Essentials of physics explained by its most brilliant teacher, Richard P Feynman & others, Helix Books, 1995