Books received

Order, Disorder and Criticality: Advanced Problems of Phase Transition Theory (Volume 2) edited by Yurij Holovatch, World Scientific. Hardback ISBN 9789812707673 £46 ($85).

This is the second volume of review papers on advanced problems of phase transitions and critical phenomena, following the success of the first volume in 2004. Broadly, it aims to demonstrate that there is still a good deal of work to be done in phase transition theory, both at the fundamental level and with respect to applications. Topics include critical behaviour as explained by the non-perturbative renormalization group; critical dynamics; a space–time approach to phase transitions; self-organized criticality; and exactly solvable models of phase transitions in strongly correlated systems. Like the first volume, this one is based on the review lectures that were given in Lviv (Ukraine) at the Ising Lectures – a traditional annual workshop on phase transitions and critical phenomena that brings together scientists in the field working with university students and others interested in the subject.

The Physics of Warm Nuclei: with Analogies to Mesoscopic Systems by Helmut Hofmann, OUP Series: Oxford Studies in Nuclear Physics, Volume 25. Hardback ISBN 9780198504016 £65 ($130).

This book offers a comprehensive survey of basic elements of nuclear dynamics at low energies and discusses their similarities to mesoscopic systems. It addresses systems with finite excitations of their internal degrees of freedom so that their collective motion exhibits features typical of transport processes in small and isolated systems. The importance of quantum aspects is examined with respect to both the microscopic damping mechanism and the nature of the transport equations, and a critical discussion of the use of thermal concepts is included. The book is considerably self-contained and presents existing models, theories and theoretical tools, from both nuclear physics and other fields, which are relevant to an understanding of the observed physical phenomena.

A Primer on the Physics of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Massimo Giovannini, World Scientific. Hardback ISBN 9789812791429 £48 ($89).

In the past 15 years, various areas of high-energy physics, astrophysics and theoretical physics have converged on the study of cosmology. Today, therefore, any graduate student in these disciplines needs a reasonably self-contained introduction to the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This book presents the essential theoretical tools necessary to acquire a modern working knowledge of CMB physics. The style, falling somewhere between a monograph and a set of lecture notes, is pedagogical and the author uses the typical approach of theoretical physics to explain the main problems in detail, while also touching on the main assumptions and derivations of a fascinating subject.

Terrestrial Neutron-Induced Soft Errors in Advanced Memory Devices by Takashi Nakamura, Mamoru Baba, Eishi Ibe, Yasuo Yahagi and Hideaki Kameyama, World Scientific. Hardback ISBN 9789812778819 £56 ($98).

Terrestrial neutron-induced soft errors in semiconductor memory devices are currently a major concern in reliability issues. Understanding the mechanism and quantifying soft-error rates are primarily crucial for the design and quality assurance of semiconductor memory devices. This book covers relevant up-to-date topics in terrestrial neutron-induced soft errors and aims to provide succinct knowledge on these soft errors by presenting several valuable and unique features. It should be of interest to students and researchers in radiation effects, nuclear and accelerator physics and cosmic-ray physics; and to engineers involved in reliability, the design/quality assurance of semiconductor devices and IT systems.

An Introduction to the Physics of Particle Accelerators (2nd edition) by Mario Conte and William W MacKay, World Scientific. Hardback ISBN 9789812779601 £86 ($46). Paperback ISBN 9789812779618 £29 ($55).

This text offers a concise and coherent introduction to the physics of particle accelerators, with attention being paid to the design of an accelerator for use as an experimental tool. In this edition, new chapters on the spin dynamics of polarized beams, as well as instrumentation and measurements, are included with a discussion of frequency spectra and Schottky signals. The additional material also covers quadratic Lie groups and integration, highlighting new techniques using Cayley transforms, detailed estimation of collider luminosities and new problems. Graduates and advanced undergraduates in physics will find this book a useful resource.