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Physics of elasticity and crystal defects

front cover of physics of elasticity and crystal defects

Published in 2020 by Oxford University Press this book is a postgraduate textbook for mathematically inclined physicists and engineers that assumes no prior knowledge of elasticity or materials science. It takes the reader relatively quickly to advanced concepts and ideas about the application of elasticity to defects in crystals. It is based in part on a course I gave for ten years in the Centre for Doctoral Training on Theory and Simulation of Materials (see Rethinking the PhD). The last four chapters cover topics I would have included in the course had there been more time. The final chapter discusses four major unsolved problems in materials physics, each of which offers fertile ground for research leading to a PhD or a research grant.

Today there are many physicists using density functional theory to model the electronic structures and properties of isolated defects in crystals using density functional theory. However, few of them are aware that long-range interactions between defects, and between defects and external loads, are much more naturally and accurately described using the theory of elasticity. I discuss the relationships between atomistic descriptions and an elastic continuum description of defects in crystals. The elastic fields of point defects, dislocations and cracks are derived in detail. Each chapter contains exercises for the student to test their understanding, and there are problems to be solved at the end of each chapter, some of which are more challenging. Complete solutions to all the exercises and set problems are available for course lecturers from the OUP website. Sir Peter Hirsch FRS has kindly written a Foreward to the book.

Available in hardback and as an ebook.

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