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Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction

Popular Science

Series: Very Short Introduction Series (VSI) Volume: 317

By: Stephen J Blundell

152 pages, 15 b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Jun 2012 | #194385 | ISBN-13: 9780199601202
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £7.99 $10/€9 approx

About this book

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.


1: Mysterious attraction?
2: The Earth as a magnet
3: Current affairs
4: Unification
5: It's all relative
6: Quantum magnetism
7: Spin
8: The magnetic library
9: Magnetism on Earth and in space
10: Exotic magnetism

Mathematical Appendix
Further reading

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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 over 200 research papers on the topic, as well as three books, "Magnetism in Condensed Matter" (2001), "Concepts in Thermal Physics" (with K.M. Blundell) (2006), and "Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction" (2009).

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