Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Why is this here?

Sorry, I know that this isn't the best place to put this however there does not seem to be any other stack exchange specific to this so I thought this would be the best place since it seemed the most related.


What would you suggest as a good introduction to materials science? (Prior usage and examples would be wonderful, my particular focus is neutron scattering)

What I've Found So Far:

  • Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction by Callister (Seems to have good reviews)

Thank you for the help.

Note: I didn't see anything related on the book request wiki.

share|improve this question
I guess this could go on the book recommendation thread. –  David Z Jul 8 '12 at 21:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As far as book recommendation questions go (which are always iffy) this is probably an appropriate place, so don't worry about apologizing.

Anyway I'd actually be inclined to recommend a good solid state physics book, like Chaikin & Lubensky for scattering, and there are other topics that are probably not so bad for a materials scientist to have under their belt, presented in the kind of extreme-simplified "spherical cow" approach that physicists cherish.

But if you're looking specifically for something the Materials Science majors typically read, then yeah, Callister is pretty popular.

EDIT It's also worth mentioning that for individual topics, there are usually reviews and pedagogical papers that cover the material better than any textbook. For neutron scattering, my first exposure was a short review called "Neutron Scattering - A Primer". Now I see that the entire issue of the magazine it was in was dedicated to neutrons and is free online.


So I hope this helps!

share|improve this answer
Could you elaborate on what else you would suggest? At the moment I'm personally looking for subsurface neutron scattering so that would be best. Is the Chaikin and Lubensky just for condensed matter , as per the name, or solid state as a whole? Also could you suggest a range of books? –  Eiyrioü von Kauyf Jul 8 '12 at 21:29
@EiyrioüvonKauyf Anything you can point to on "subsurface neutron scattering"? I'm not an expert, but I generally think of neutrons as a bulk (rather than surface) probe anyway. Condensed Matter encompasses more than just Solid State (C&L are actually soft-matter guys, so there's a lot of neat stuff in that book that you won't find in, say Kittel or Ashcroft & Mermin, and I think they cover the solid state material better anyway). I can't give a better range for specifically MatSci books; I didn't study it as an undergrad but Callister is what everybody I know who did used. –  wsc Jul 9 '12 at 4:08
Currently I'm going to look at Chaikin and Lubensky / Marder as I believe they each have a small section on neutron scattering. Anything else you would suggest? Slight problem is I believe they both assume a Statistical Mechanics Pre-req, so I'm actually looking at that now –  Eiyrioü von Kauyf Jul 10 '12 at 10:50
@EiyrioüvonKauyf see the link in my edit –  wsc Jul 10 '12 at 14:37
at first glance, looks great, I shall read it. Thanks! What would you suggest for a better math foundation behind it? As the mathematical foundation on the same page does not have derivations I believe. –  Eiyrioü von Kauyf Jul 10 '12 at 15:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.