A number of materials science textbooks are available for engineers and scientists - this one, however, provides specifically the materials science required by electrical and electronic engineers. The style of writing is concise, at times light-hearted and delightfully unpretentious. The text covers what is needed at first-year undergraduate level without deluging the reader with unnecessary detail.
The main topics have been taken from the suggested syllabus of the Institution of Electrical Engineering, which satisfies component E1A - that is, the materials part of the general engineering background that students receive in the first year of an electrical and electronic engineering first degree.
The refreshingly relaxed style makes difficult concepts easy to understand and remember. Many diagrams, photographs and illustrations enhance the text.
Part one introduces the different types of bonds involved in conductors, insulators and semiconductors. Part two is devoted to electrical conductors and covers metals, mechanical properties, manufacture, steel and electrochemistry. Part three is about electrical insulators - ceramics and plastics in particular. Part four deals with semiconductors and the electronics industry, magnetic materials, superconductors and optical fibres. At every point, the author makes clear the direct relevance of every topic to electrical and electronic engineering.
Exercises in the text are helpfully answered in full at the back of the book. At the beginning of each chapter is a clear list of objectives. At the end comes a concise summary and a recommended reading list, reminding the reader that materials science is a considerable and well-documented discipline.
The book is suitable for those new to the subject. I have no hesitation in recommending it.
John Bird is the author of more than 100 textbooks and former head of applied electronics at Highbury College, Portsmouth.
Materials Science for Electrical and Electronic Engineers. First edition
Author - Ian P. Jones
ISBN - 0 19 856294 2
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Price - £23.99
Pages - 339