Adopting a unique approach, the author develops a framework thatlays the foundations for a theory of amorphousness. He unravels thescientific mysteries surrounding the topic, replacing rather vaguenotions of amorphous materials as disordered crystalline solidswith the well-founded concept of ideal amorphous solids. Aclassification of amorphous materials into inorganic glasses,organic glasses, glassy metallic alloys, and thin films sets thescene for the development of the model of ideal amorphous solids,based on topology- and statistics-governed rules ofthree-dimensional sphere packing, which leads to structures with noshort, mid or long-range order. This general model is thenconcretized to the description of specific compounds in the fourfundamental classes of amorphous solids, as well as amorphouspolyethylene and poly(methyl)methacrylate, emphasizing itsversatility and descriptive power. Finally, he includes exampleapplications to indicate the abundance of amorphous materials inmodern-day technology, thus illustrating the importance of a betterunderstanding of their structure and properties.
Equally ideal as supplementary reading in courses oncrystallography, mineralogy, solid state physics, and materialsscience where amorphous materials have played only a minor roleuntil now.