The New Science of Strong Materials or Why You Don't Fall Through the Floor

The New Science of Strong Materials or Why You Don't Fall Through the Floor

Paperback Princeton Science Library (Paperback)

By (author) J. E. Gordon, Introduction by Philip Ball


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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 125mm x 201mm x 25mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 30 January 2006
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691125481
  • ISBN 13: 9780691125480
  • Edition: Revised
  • Edition statement: Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 48 line illus. 6 tables.
  • Sales rank: 132,381

Product description

This new edition of J. E. Gordon's classic introduction to the properties of materials used in engineering answers some fundamental and fascinating questions about how the material world around us functions. In particular, Gordon focuses on so-called strong materials, such as metals, wood, ceramics, glass, and bone. For each material in question, Gordon explains the unique physical and chemical basis for its inherent structural qualities in irrepressibly fresh and simple terms. He also shows how an in-depth understanding of these materials' intrinsic strengths (and weaknesses) guides our engineering choices, allowing us to build the structures that support our modern society. Philip Ball's new introduction describes Gordon's career and the impact of his innovations in materials research, while also discussing how the field has evolved since Gordon wrote this enduring example of first-rate scientific communication.

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Author information

J. E. Gordon (1913-1998) was Professor of Materials Technology Emeritus at the University of Reading and is the author of "Structures, or Why Things Don't Fall Down". Philip Ball is a freelance science writer and a consultant editor for "Nature", and is the author of "Designing the Molecular World" and "Made to Measure" (both Princeton).

Review quote

"I was thoroughly charmed and won over by this book which I now recommend to all my colleagues."--Daniel C. Mattis, American Journal of Physics Praise for Princeton's original edition: "Princeton has brought to the public a highly readable treatise on the science of materials that emphasizes the strength of chemical and physical bonds, crystal structure, and cracks... The author admits the necessity of being highly selective in the materials he can discuss so broadly, but he ably presents chemical and physical problems and how they have been solved in an orderly fashion, and he shows that the strength of materials is influenced as much by their environment and loading systems as by their own structures and shapes."--S. W. Dobyns, Science Books and Films

Back cover copy

Praise for Princeton's original edition: "I found Gordon's writing style fascinating; his book reads like a novel, and the technical content is superb."--Enoch J. Durbin, Princeton University