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There are a lot books out there that try tries to explain big topics like relativity and particle physics to the layman. I'm looking for something similar in condensed matter physics. Books that discusses interesting properties of materials in an engaging and simplified way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik is an easy but thoroughly insightful introduction to materials science. $\endgroup$ – lemon Sep 21 '16 at 10:44
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The Cold Wars: A History of Superconductivity was a really good read if you are interested in both the experimental and theoretical realization of superconductivity and superfluidity. It provides a lot of historical context for the discoveries that led to where we are now, and has very little in terms of forbidding looking equations.

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The New Science of Strong Materials : Or Why You Don't Fall Through the Floor by J E Gordon is a classic, published by Penguin. It deals with materials science rather than condensed matter physics. It is quite old (the science is no longer 'new') so there is very little about quantum properties and nothing about nano-materials.

lemon's recommendation Stuff Matters won the Royal Society Winton Prize for 2014. It is much more wide-ranging, being devoted mostly to the story of different materials rather than the physics behind them.

Both books have excellent reviews on Amazon.

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