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Electronic Properties of Engineering Materials

ISBN: 978-0-471-31627-5
336 pages
December 1998, ©1999
Electronic Properties of Engineering Materials (047131627X) cover image


James Livingston has written a highly readable undergraduate text introducing the physics and chemistry underlying the electronic properties of engineering solids. The first half of the text uses a semi-classical approach, while the second half introduces quantum mechanics and applies quantum chemistry and quantum physics to the basic properties of metals, insulators, and semiconductors.

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Table of Contents


Conductors and Resistors.

Windows, Doors, and Transparent Electrodes (Optical Properties of Conductors).

Insulators and Capacitors.

Lenses and Optical Fibers (Optical Properties of Insulators).

Inductors, Electromagnets, and Permanent Magnets.

Superconductors and Superconducting Magnets.

Elasticity, Springs, and Sonic Waves.


Light Particles, Electron Waves, and Quantum Wells, and Springs.

The Periodic Table, Atomic Spectra, and Neon Lights.

The Game Is Bonds, Interatomic Bonds.

From Bonds to Bands (and Why Grass Is Green).

Free Electron Waves in Metals.

Nearly-Free Electrons--Bands, Gaps, Holes, and Zones.

Metals and Insulators.


LEDs, Photodetectors, Solar Cells, and Transistors.

Suggestions for Further Reading.

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Author Information

After retiring from the Materials Department of General Electric’s Research and Development Center, Jim Livingston has been teaching undergraduate materials science at MIT since 1989. While working at GE, his research areas included hard and soft magnetic materials, high-field and high-temperature superconductors, dislocations, mechanical properties, and eutectic and eutectoid transformations.

Livingston earned a Bachelor of Engineering Physics at Cornell University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University. Along with writing over 150 technical articles, he has also authored a monograph on the metallurgy of superconductors and a popular-science book Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets. Jim is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of ASM International and the American Physical Society, and a member of TMS, MRS, AAAS, and the IEEE Magnetics Society.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Presentation of quantum mechanics and electronic properties of solids are presented from the viewpoint of classical physics. This approach allows the student to become familiar with the mathematics necessary for quantum mechanics before being exposed to its difficult fundamental concepts.
  • Balanced use of quantum chemistry and quantum physics. especially suitable for students interested in polymers and ceramics.
  • Strong focus on optical properties of solids. A topic most students find of interest (why grass is green, why copper is red, etc.).
  • Frequent use of actual engineering applications to justify the development of necessary math and physics.
  • Deeper discussion of magnetic and superconducting materials, particularly their structure- sensitive engineering properties.
  • Part of the Wiley MIT series is in Materials Science and Engineering. Other titles in this series include:
    • Ragone: Thermodynamics of Materials, Vol. I, 0-471-30885-4
    • Ragone: Thermodynamics of Materials, Vol. II Kinetics, 0-471-30886-2
    • Chiang, et al: Physical Ceramics: Principals for Ceramic Science & Engineering, 0-471-59873-9
    • Allen, et al: The Structure of Materials, 0-471-0082-5
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