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Electronic structure of materials

front cover of concepts of materials science

Undergraduates of materials science are taught that crystals are never perfect and that defects play a dominant role in many of their properties. But when they learn about the electronic structure and properties of crystalline materials the translational symmetry of a perfect crystal takes centre stage with Bloch's theorem and band theory. This book seeks to address this inconsistency by presenting a description of electronic structure of solids in terms of bonds in real space alongside the traditional approach in terms of bands in reciprocal space. The equivalence between the two descriptions is demonstrated using simple mathematics. The book also discusses the breakdown of band theory and non-crystalline materials, and there is an introduction to density functional theory which underpins modern predictive calculations.


Published by Oxford University Press in 1993, reprinted with corrections in 1994 and 1996. Available in paperback (print on demand by OUP) and as an ebook. The book was translated into German under the title Elektronische Struktur in Materialien and published by VCH in 1996.

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