Out of the Crystal Maze

Out of the Crystal Maze : Chapters from the History of Solid-State Physics

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This monumental work focuses on the field of solid-state physics - now more properly referred to as condensed-matter physics - which grew to maturity between 1920 and 1960. The questions that were posed, and answered, during this period, regarding the structure of solid matter and why some materials are good insulators or conductors, led to applications of the highest economic, military and cultural importance. The history of these exciting developments is told in an easy-to-follow text, accessible to general readers, while maintaining standards of high scholarship.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 720 pages
  • 163.1 x 235.7 x 53.6mm | 1,736.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones, line illustrations
  • 019505329X
  • 9780195053296

Review quote

a most readable nonmathematical overview of the development of the various fields of solid-state physics, suited to the nonspecialist ... Parts of this volume, designated as assigned reading, would add materially to the education of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the usual academic courses. Indeed, there are many fascinating nuggets that an instructor could introduce into a course on solid-state physics ... The book contains very extensive notes and references at the end of each chapter. It is a volume well worth having on one's bookshelf. * Hugo Steinfink, University of Texas, Acta Cryst. (1994) A50 * 'This book searches out the scattered origins of solid-state physics among the scientific establishments and industrial research laboratories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'this is a "big history" of which more will always remain to be written ... But it is much more than a beginning for the academic vivisection of solid-state physics .... For all those interested in the physics of the 20th century, whether as historians, scientists, or both, this splendidly produced book is essential reading.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'here is a book which contains some very good accounts of the physics involved ... It also has lots of interesting facts, descriptions and anecdotes about the origins and development of the physics of solids ... many physicists will enjoy dipping into it.' Professor J.S. Dugdale, University of Leeds, Contemporary Physics, 1993, volume 34, number 3 'a valuable start to an ambitious project and the book is likely to become an authoritative secondary source for anyone trying to follow up some aspect of the history in depth' David Shoenberg, University of Cambridge, Nature, Vol. 365, September 1993 'The end-product is a massive but exciting book, covering in depth many aspects of the field, from colour centres and dislocations to band theory of solids and collective phenomena. Photographs, together with personal reminiscences, enliven the presentation.' Jacques Friedel, Physics World, September 1993show more

Back cover copy

This landmark work chronicles the origin and evolution of solid state physics, which grew to maturity between 1920 and 1960. The book examines the early roots of the field in industrial, scientific and artistic efforts and traces them through the 1950s, when many physicists around the world recognized themselves as members of a distinct subfield of physics research centered on solids.show more

Table of contents

Michael Eckert, Helmut Schubert, & Gisela Torkar with Chritstine Blondel & Pierre Quedec: The roots of solid-state physics before quantum mechanics; Lillian Hoddesdon, Gordon Baym, & Michael Eckert: The development of the quantum mechanical electron theory of metals, 1926-1933; Paul Hoch (with contributions by Kris Szyborski): The development of the band theory of solids, 1933-1960; Jurgen Teichmann & Kris Szymborski: Point defects and ionic crystals: color centers as the key to imperfections; Ernst Braun: Mechanical properties of solids; Stephen T. Keith & Pierre Quedec: Magnetism; Ernst Braun: Selected topics from the history of semiconductor physics and its applications; Lillian Hoddesdon, Helmut Schubert, Steve J. Heims, & Gordon Baym (with a contribution by Philip W. Anderson): Collective phenomena; Spencer Weart: The solid community.show more

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