Kurt Mendelssohn

The quest for absolute zero

The absolute zero of temperature is (probably) an unattainable limit, but it's human nature to constantly strive to get ever close to such a limit. 'The quest for absolute zero' describes these battles to achieve ever lower temperatures. It starts with with the liquefaction of oxygen in 1877, with other gases following soon after, but helium remaining stubbornly gaseous until 1908 when it was liquified by Kamerlingh Onnes, leading on to his discovery of superconductivity. The book then examines how theoretical physics was affected by low temperature reseach, looking at the theories of Nernst and Einstein on the subject. However, the book does not require technical knowledge, rather it uses plenty of helpful diagrams, and would be accessible to readers without a scientific background, but interested in the history of low temperature research.

The later parts of the book look at the more recent work in low temperature physics, in particular the problems of the interaction of superconductivity and magnetic fields, and how solving these was necessary for the commercial use of superconductors. History of technology is always a difficult topic to write about, and it is nearly 30 years since the book was published, so it's no longer recent technology. I felt that the book would have done better to stick to the story of attempts to achieve ever lower temperature. On the other hand Mendelsson knew what he was writing about - he's recognised as an expert in this field of study - and many people might like to read what such a prominent researcher has written about his subject.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 286 pages  
ISBN: 0850661196
Salesrank: 5625383
Weight:1 lbs
Published: 1977 Taylor & Francis
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 286 pages  
ISBN: 0850661196
Salesrank: 4435199
Weight:1 lbs
Published: 1977 Taylor & Francis Ltd
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 286 pages  
ISBN: 0850661196
Salesrank:
Weight:1 lbs
Published: 1977 Taylor & Francis
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
Book by Mendelssohn, K.