"The book is basic in the sense that it begins at the beginning and is entirely self-contained. It is also comprehensive and contains detailed descriptions of Physics of Amorphous Solids. The aim has been to make the subject matter broadly accessible to advanced students, whilst at the same time providing a reference text for graduate scholars and research scientists active in the field.
In condensed matter physics and materials science, an amorphous or non-crystalline solid is a solid that lacks the long-range order that is characteristic of a crystal. In some older books, the term has been used synonymously with glass. Nowadays, ""glassy solid"" or ""amorphous solid"" is considered to be the overarching concept, and glass the more special case: A glass is an amorphous solid that exhibits a glass transition. Polymers are often amorphous. Other types of amorphous solids include gels, thin films, and nanostructured materials such as glass.
Amorphous materials have an internal structure made of interconnected structural blocks. Whether a material is liquid or solid depends primarily on the connectivity between its elementary building blocks so that solids are characterized by a high degree of connectivity whereas structural blocks in fluids have lower connectivity.
Even amorphous materials have some shortrange order at the atomic length scale due to the nature of chemical bonding. Furthermore, in very small crystals a large fraction of the atoms are the crystal; relaxation of the surface and interfacial effects distort the atomic positions, decreasing the structural order. Even the most advanced structural characterization techniques, such as x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, have difficulty in distinguishing between amorphous and crystalline structures on these length scales."