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Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

Stephen J. Blundell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 May 2009 Very Short Introductions
Superconductivity is one of the most exciting areas of research in physics today. Outlining the history of its discovery, and the race to understand its many mysterious and counter-intuitive phenomena, this Very Short Introduction explains in accessible terms the theories that have been developed, and how they have influenced other areas of science, including the Higgs boson of particle physics and ideas about the early Universe. It is an engaging and informative account of a fascinating scientific detective story, and an intelligible insight into some deep and beautiful ideas of physics. 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.

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"Superconductivity is an excellent addition to Oxford's 'Very Short Introductions' series. Blundell effectively weaves the history of discovery with theoretical understanding in a seamless, entertaining fashion. The reader is provided with both the progression of ideas and an insightful glimpse at the personalities involved in unraveling the phenomenon of superconductivity...Highly recommended." --CHOICE Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Blundell did his undergraduate degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics at Peterhouse, Cambridge and his Ph. D. in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. He moved to the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford to take up an SERC research fellowship, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, where he began research in organic magnets and superconductors using muon-spin rotation. In 1997 he was appointed to a University Lectureship in the Physics Department and a Tutorial Fellowship at Mansfield College, Oxford, and was subsequently promoted to Reader and then Professor. He was a joint winner of the Daiwa-Adrian Prize in 1999 for his work on organic magnets. He has previously published Magnetism in Condensed Matter, (OUP 2001); and Concepts in Thermal Physics, (OUP 2006, with K.M. Blundell).

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very short and very good 19 Dec 2009
By Ramses
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has recently been reviewed in the CERN courier and even IEEE Spectrum. I totally agree with those raving reviews and would recommend this slim volume as the number one read for an introduction to this important topic. Many scientists are met, and anecdotes abound, while never straying far from the historical progression of discovery, with a sound grounding in the science, made understandable by analogies and clear wording. A resounding success in the series. Yes as usual in the VSI there are typos etc but this book is just great. Must buy for an intro into this field.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More is differen 25 April 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
The twentieth century was replete with profound new discoveries in Physics that radically reshaped the way we think about the world around us. In a nutshell, we can think of these conceptual breakthroughs in terms of two simple slogans: "small is different" and "more is different." "Small is different" refers to the fact that when we look at the world at the very smallest scale the usual laws of everyday Physics start to break down. We are unable to determine position of objects with any finite certainty, objects seem to be able to be at two possible locations at a same time, and properties of objects don't vary smoothly but come in terms of discrete values. The realm of the very smallest is investigated in the parts of Physics that we call Quantum Mechanics (see for instance Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)) and Particle Physics (see for instance Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction. When we think of modern Physics, this is usually what we first have in mind. However, another important conceptual line of investigation is encapsulated in the other phrase, "more is different." This refers to the fact that many times, a whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and under certain conditions it is impossible to understand the behavior of a system of particles just by understanding the properties of individual particles. In fact, in some cases the notion of individual particle itself becomes suspect. Quantum mechanics itself has already hinted at some of this, but the branch of Physics that are deals with this approach to the world around us the most is called "Solid State Physics" or "Condensed Matter Physics. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More of a history than an explanation 15 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book presented a history of the development and discoveries of superconductivity which was interesting but not what I bought it for. If you are looking for an explanation of how or why superconductors behave as they do, this book is not for you. The Physics was a little light, generally inclomplete and sometimes unclear. The low star rating is a result of my disappointment - particularly after the excellent 'Very Short Introduction to Viruses' in the same series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful introduction to Superconductivity 30 May 2011
By Joni
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Blundell is superb once again. You really enjoy reading the issues, stories and anecdotes related with superconductivity as well as the people have been involved in its discovery and development.
It gives a very good account on the topic without any need for complicated details and equations. I think that when one is studying a certain topic in physics, this kind of background (historical context, anecdotes and important implications, how and why things happened as they did) should be worked out too, specially during the undergraduate studies in order to keep the motivation. The format results into a bit too small, but the content is really worthy :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 8 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is another quality book in the "A Very Short Introduction" series of books. It manages to go into detail about the Physics of Superconductivity and it's discovery without overcomplicating things too much. Credit must go to the author where it is due.
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