Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction [#317]
Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction [#317]

Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction [#317]

Stephen J. Blundell


  • Explains a fundamental scientific topic and its importance in an accessible way
  • Considers early theories of magnetism including the discovery that the Earth itself is a magnet
  • Explores the work of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell in unifying magnetism and electricity
  • Looks at the quantum mechanical aspects of magnetism
  • Considers its importance in modern technology, including magnetic storage in computers and the magnetic fields of planets and stars

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. 
Reading Guide



1: Mysterious attraction?
2: The Earth as a magnet
3: Electrical current and the path to power
4: Unification
5: Magnetism and relativity
6: Quantum magnetism
7: Spin
8: The magnetic library
9: Magnetism on Earth and in space
10: Exotic magnetism
Mathematical Appendix
Further reading


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).

"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


ISBN : 9780199601202

Stephen J. Blundell
160 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction [#317]

Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction [#317]

Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction [#317]