It is my great pleasure to see the book, written together with Lev Aslamazov, to appear in English. The original Russian edition, followed by the Italian one, were accepted enthusiastically by readers and I hope that the wide English-speaking audience will find the book to merit attention too. It would be a fair tribute to the good memory of my friend and coauthor.
The reasons which pushed us to write this book were curiousity and our wish to share with others the admiration for the beauty of Physics in its manifestations in the Nature. The authors have devoted a lot of time to physics teaching of students of various levels, from gifted beginners to mature PhD students. All this experience has convinced us that, besides the evident necessity of regular and careful study of the discipline, an "artistic" approach, in which the teacher (or the author) proves the importance of Physics in habitual everyday phenomena, is vital. I hope that we succeeded to pass to the reader our feeling of Physics not only on the cover but also in the text of the book.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to many friends and colleagues, without whom this edition would not appear. In first turn this is my old and dear friend Dr. Alex Abrikosov (Jr.), whose enthusiasm, thorough scientific care and translation gave birth of the English version. His contrubution to the project was considerably enforced by the collaboration of my other friend and our common alumnus Dr. Dmitriy Znamenski, who has become almost a native speaker of English last years.