A Preview of Concepts and Phenomena
This book covers a large area of material properties and effects connected with static and dynamic properties of domains. These are relevant to materials referred to as ferroics. In textbooks on solid state physics, one large group of ferroics is customarily covered, namely those in which magnetic properties play a dominant role: magnetically ordered materials which include ferromagnetics and antiferromagnetics. Numerous books are specifically devoted to such materials and cover a wide spectrum of magnetic domain phenomena which also incorporate essential practical aspects such as magnetic memories. In contrast, in the present monograph attention will be concentrated on domain-related phenomena in nonmagnetic ferroics. These materials are still only inadequately represented in solid state physics textbooks—even those which offer the most interesting properties, namely ferroelectrics. Therefore before starting with a systematic description of domain phenomena, in the present chapter we wish to offer the reader an introduction into what this book is all about.