Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1823. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF WILSON’S FUNDAMENTAL PHASE TRANSITIONS RENORMALIZATION PAPER QUANTITATIVELY DESCRIBING THE KONDO EFFECT AS WELL AS ITS SOLUTION. Wilson himself thought this lengthly work the most important of his seminal renormalization papers because it is “the first example where the full renormalization program has been realized: the formal aspects of the fixed points, eigenoperators, and scaling laws will be blended with the practical aspect of numerical approximate calculations of effective interactions to give a quantitative solution to a problem that previously had seemed hopeless” (Wilson, 1975, 805). Referring to Wilson's work, the physicist Steven Weinberg wrote: "Ken Wilson was one of a very small number of physicists who changed the way we all think, not just about specific phenomena, but about a vast range of different phenomena" (New York Times Obituary).
Wilson’s renormalization program was essentially an ingenious development in the solution of problems. “Instead of a frontal attack, [Wilson] developed a method to divide the problem into a sequence of simpler problems, in which each part can be solved. Wilson built his theory on an essential modification of a method in theoretical physics called renormalization group theory, which was developed already during the fifties” (Nobel Prize Committee). Wilson’s paper describes his innovative solution to the Kondo Problem through the use of “the numerical renormalization methods that he developed for solving the much broader problem of phase transitions in solids; for example, the transition from ferromagnetism to paramagnetism. Wilson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1982 for creating a general theory of phase transitions, a theoretical structure that predicted all aspects of the data on phase transitions that had been accumulated by physicists over many years” (Heeger, The Kondo Problem, 122).
The Kondo effect describes the scattering of electrons from a localized magnetic impurity and was initiated by the work of Jun Kondo in 1964; while Kondo’s work explained “most of the effect, it failed to fully explain the resistivity increase at temperatures very near to absolute zero. This remaining issue was called “the Kondo problem” (History of Physics: The Wenner Collection). The Kondo effect continues to capture the imagination of theorists and experimentalists in part because it is one of the few examples in physics where many particles collectively behave as one object (a single quantum-mechanical body). Because “the effect arises from the interactions between a single magnetic atom, such as cobalt, and the many electrons in an otherwise non-magnetic metal. Such an impurity typically has an intrinsic angular momentum or “spin” that interacts with the electrons — as a result, the mathematical description of the system is a difficult many-body problem” (Kouwenhoven & Glazman, Physics World 2001, 33).
“From a historical perspective, the Kondo model therefore clearly has an iconic status…. It can be said without exaggeration that the ideas of scaling and renormalization group developed en route to solving the Kondo problem represent a cornerstone in our current understanding of correlated many-body systems, applicable to both condensed matter and high-energy physics (Nevidomskyy, The Kondo Model). Item #835
CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Physical Society.(10.5 x 8 inches; 263 x 200mm). Original wraps. Very slight scuffing at the edges of the wraps. (See photo). Bright and clean. Near fine condition inside and out.