Physical Properties of Materials: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Physical Properties of Materials

2nd Edition

By Mary Anne White

CRC Press

469 pages | 273 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439866511
pub: 2011-06-28
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pub: 2011-08-18
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Designed for advanced undergraduate students, Physical Properties of Materials, Second Edition establishes the principles that control the optical, thermal, electronic, magnetic, and mechanical properties of materials. Using an atomic and molecular approach, this introduction to materials science offers students a wide-ranging survey of the field and a basis to understand future materials. The author incorporates comments on applications of materials science, extensive references to the contemporary and classic literature, and problems at the end of each chapter. In addition, unique tutorials allow students to apply the principles to understand applications, such as photocopying, magnetic devices, fiber optics, and more.

This fully revised and updated second edition presents a discussion of materials sustainability, a description of crystalline structures, and discussion of current and recent developments, including graphene, carbon nanotubes, nanocomposites, magnetocaloric effect, and spintronics. Along with a new capstone tutorial on the materials science of cymbals, this edition contains more than 60 new end-of-chapter problems, bringing the total to 300 problems.

Web Resource

The book’s companion website ( provides updates to the further reading sections, links to relevant movies and podcasts for each chapter, video demonstrations, and additional problems. It also offers sources of demonstration materials for lectures and PowerPoint slides of figures from the book.

More information can be found on a recent press release describing the book and the website.


This book stands out as a unique resource for students and established scientists working at the modern materials/chemistry/technology interface. It conveys a tremendous amount of information and distills the physics and chemistry down to an intuitive level that can be appreciated by both developing scientists as well as more established scientists looking for a teaching aid/text or a tune-up in their own knowledge. … This new edition includes many new state-of-the-art topics that have emerged as major fields over the last decade including carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, and spintronics. … I defy the reader to not find many gems of insightful knowledge to enhance their understanding of the physical materials world.

—Timothy M. Swager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

I am very impressed with the text. This text provides wonderful coverage of many of the basic properties of materials that we care about as scientists and as engineers.

—Paul C. Canfield, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, USA

Mary Anne White wrote one of the most engaging introductory texts on materials science … Professor White has now prepared an updated version of her book adding several new sections that feature some of the seminal recent research advances and a number of the materials topics that nowadays pose important social concerns. … this is an excellent book to base an introductory materials course on, or to read for pleasure by scientists in other fields who wish to riffle through an excellent survey of what materials science has become today.

—Martin Moskovits, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

… a concise but in-depth insight into the physical aspects of materials science … White expertly deals with the theory of the physical properties of materials, and the book offers a succinct but comprehensive coverage of this area.

Times Higher Education

… an alternative approach to the typical introductory MSE text used in service courses for engineers. … well written and comprehensive in its presentation … well illustrated and contains an ample supply of challenging. but useful problems. … there is an especially welcome text related website …

—James A. Clum, Dept of Material:; Science and Engineering University, of Wisconsin – Madison in Journal of Materials Education, Vol. 33, (5-6), 2011

Table of Contents


Introduction to Materials Science


More Recent Trends

Impact on Daily Living

Future Materials

Structures of Materials


Atomic and Molecular Origins of Color


Atomic Transitions

Black-Body Radiation

Vibrational Transitions as a Source of Color

Crystal Field Colors

Color Centers (F-Centers)

Charge Delocalization, Especially Molecular Orbitals

Color in Metals and Semiconductors


Metallic Luster

Colors of Pure Semiconductors

Colors of Doped Semiconductors

Color from Interactions of Light Waves with Bulk Matter




Scattering of Light

Diffraction Grating

Other Optical Effects


Optical Activity and Related Effects


Circular Dichroism and Optical Rotatory Dispersion

Nonlinear Optical Effects


Heat Capacity, Heat Content, and Energy Storage


Equipartition of Energy

Real Heat Capacities and Heat Content of Real Gases

Heat Capacities of Solids

Heat Capacities of Liquids

Heat Capacities of Glasses

Phase Stability and Phase Transitions, Including Their Order

(Cp – CV): An Exercise in Thermodynamic Manipulations

Thermal Expansion


Compressibility and Thermal Expansion of Gases

Thermal Expansion of Solids

Thermal Conductivity


Thermal Conductivity of Gases

Thermal Conductivities of Insulating Solids

Thermal Conductivities of Metals

Thermodynamic Aspects of Stability


Pure Gases

Phase Equilibria in Pure Materials: The Clapeyron Equation

Phase Diagrams of Pure Materials

The Phase Rule

Liquid–Liquid Binary Phase Diagrams

Liquid–Vapor Binary Phase Diagrams

Relative Proportions of Phases: The Lever Principle

Liquid–Solid Binary Phase Diagrams

Compound Formation

Three-Component (Ternary) Phase Diagrams

Surface and Interfacial Phenomena


Surface Energetics

Surface Investigations

Surface Tension and Capillarity

Liquid Films on Surfaces

Other Phases of Matter





Inclusion Compounds


Electrical Properties


Metals, Insulators, and Semiconductors: Band Theory

Temperature Dependence of Electrical Conductivity

Properties of Extrinsic (Doped) Semiconductors

Electrical Devices Using Extrinsic (Doped) Semiconductors



Magnetic Properties


Origins of Magnetic Behavior

Magnetic Induction as a Function of Field Strength

Temperature Dependence of Magnetization


Mechanical Properties


Elasticity and Related Properties

Beyond the Elastic Limit

Defects and Dislocations

Crack Propagation


Electromechanical Properties: The Piezoelectric Effect

Appendix 1: Fundamental Physical Constants

Appendix 2: Unit Conversions

Appendix 3: The Greek Alphabet

Appendix 4: Sources of Lecture Demonstration Materials


Problems and Further Reading appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author


Mary Anne White is a University Research Professor at Dalhousie University, where she is also the director of the Dalhousie Research in Energy, Advanced Materials and Sustainability (DREAMS) program. Her research in energetics and thermal properties of materials has led to the development of new materials that can convert waste heat to energy and materials that can trap solar energy. Dr. White is a regular contributor to CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon and has been the recipient of the McNeil Medal of the Royal Society of Canada and the Union Carbide Award for Chemical Education from the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General
SCIENCE / Solid State Physics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical