Gendou's Reviews > Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction

Superconductivity by Stephen J. Blundell
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's review
Apr 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, physics
Read from March 29 to April 04, 2011

This is a very nice history of superconductivity research.
The lecture is well organized and quite thorough for a "very short introduction".
A background in quantum physics helps, but really isn't necessary to enjoy it.

I was a little upset by the concluding remarks, where the author bad-mouths reductionism for no apparent reason!
He's making an important point: scale matters.
You don't want to have to solve the Schrodinger Equation for a macroscopic superconducting magnet; or anything bigger than a Bucky-ball, for that matter.
The unsolved problem is to find a rule, at some scale or another, that predicts the superconductivity of a given material.
I just can't see how vilifying reductionism helps in this at all.
True, emergent behaviors aren't seen using a pure reductionist approach.
But the author sounds like he's preaching to some crowd of obnoxious reductionism-fascists who would deny that any scale but the smallest scale is ever useful for doing physics!
To my knowledge, no such ideology has ever existed, but maybe Blundell has had some unfortunate exchanges with this rare breed in the past...

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