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Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen J. Blundell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Magnetism is a strange force, mysteriously attracting one object to another apparently through empty space. It has been claimed as a great healer, with magnetic therapies being proposed over the centuries and still popular today. Why are its mysterious important to solve?

In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen J. Blundell explains why. For centuries magnetism has been used for various exploits; through compasses it gave us navigation and through motors, generators, and turbines it has given us power. Blundell explores our understanding of electricity and magnetism, from the work of Galvani, Ampere, Faraday, and Tesla, and goes on to explore how Maxwell and Faraday's work led to the unification of electricity and magnetism, thought of as one of the
most imaginative developments in theoretical physics.

With a discussion of the relationship between magnetism and relativity, quantum magnetism, and its impact on computers and information storage, Blundell shows how magnetism has changed our fundamental understanding of the Universe.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


Product Description

Review

This quite amazing book covers practically everything there is to know about magnetism. Ten seconds after opening the book, having scanned the contents section, I knew I was going to read not only about the birth of magnetism as a branch of scientific study, but also about Maxwells equations, relativity, quantum magnetism and technology. Two pages into the book, and I knew that the book was written in a relaxed, engaging, easy-to-follow style, which the author maintains throughout. (Paul van Kampen, Dublin City University, Contemporary Science)

About the Author

Stephen J. Blundell is Professor of Physics at Oxford University and a Fellow of Mansfield College. He is actively researching the phenomena of magnetism and superconductivity and has published numerous research papers on these topics, as well as three books, Magnetism in Condensed Matter (OUP, 2001), Concepts in Thermal Physics (with K.M. Blundell) (OUP, 2006), and Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2009).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2567 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008E52I9E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,568 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, Comprehensive, Interesting 13 Jan. 2013
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Magnetism is electricity's less appreciated twin. In our daily lives we only think of magnetism in the context of fridge magnets, magnetic clasps, or at most when considering the needle of the compass. However, magnetism is one of the most pervasive and useful natural phenomena, and in so many ways modern life would be unimaginable without it.

This very short introduction aims to give a very comprehensive account of the phenomenon of magnetism. The book goes into the history of our understanding of magnetism, describes some significant discoveries, provides theoretical explanation of magnetism, and examines some of the most significant applications of magnetism today. Some of these applications have become so ubiquitous that we don't even think of them much any more - such as the magnetic memory that is the bases of all hard drives that are in use today. Others are a bit more obscure but no less fascinating. The book is written with a non-scientist in mind, although some degree of scientific literacy and appreciation of science will go a long way in making the most out of this material. Aside from a very short appendix, the book contains no equations and "scary" scientific graphs. There are a few neat diagrams though, that manage to explain concepts visually for those of us who like that kind of thing. Even if you are an experienced scientist, or even a physicist (like myself) you'll find a lot of useful and intriguing tidbits of information within this short volume. This is particularly true if you happen to teach some course that deals with magnetism.

The writing in this book is very lucid and engaging. It is definitely one of the better-written popular science books. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wishes to broaden his or her understanding of science.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly fascinating subject 10 July 2013
By J. Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The Very Short Introduction series are written by professors of the subject and are aimed at provoking cross-discipline intrigue in the reader that may incite further investigation and reading - and boy are they good at achieving exactly that; often they leave more questions than answers.

"By giving us compasses it allowed us to navigate the world, by giving us motors, generators and turbines magnetism has given us plentiful power. It lies behind many of our electrical sensors, helps us in recording and playing music via microphones and loudspeakers and has transformed the way we store information" - Page 130.

This is an excellent read and completely approachable, starting from the origins of our investigation into magnetism from the humble bar magnet, all the way up to our magnetosphere protecting us from the Sun and back down to the spin on electrons - it encompasses all aspects of the subject. It is absolutely incredible how fundamentally our understanding of physics and the world has gained from magnetism. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read! 20 May 2013
By kclam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book demystifies magnetism and presents the development history leading up to unification of electricity and magnetism. It also covers applications of magnetism and the magnetic field of our Earth and Solar System.

Magnetism has a deep association with electricity, relativity and quantum theory. Magnetic field appears in nature when a charge is moving with respect to the observer; magnetism is a purely relativistic effect. Magnetic properties of materials can be explained by quantum mechanics. Electrons either spin one way or the other; it is electron spin that produces magnetism.

Magnetism is vital in our maritime, industrial and information revolutions as well as magnetic navigation in animals. The fusion reactors would one day solve the Earth's energy crisis. The Earth's magnetic field has changed and even reversed over time!
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3.0 out of 5 stars What about AlNiCo magnets and the like? 26 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book covers a very wide range of topics, but completely omits any reference to magnetism in such non-ferrous mixtures. It also bypasses such magnetic curiosities such as neodymium. Here is where some practical rather than theoretical information would have been useful.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 11 Sept. 2014
By Roberto
Format:Paperback
All as described. Arrived on time and no complaints whatsoever.
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