Preliminaries

Understanding the Properties of Matter is a introduction to the study of the properties of matter – the physical world we experience all around us each day.

The key idea of the book is that we come to a quantitative understanding of the properties of matter we encounter with just a very few basic ideas.

Chapters 1 to 3 provide a context the discussion.

  • Chapter 1 explains the organisation of the book and provides some historical context.
  • Chapter 2 outlines some of the background ideas that we use to describe the physical world, and so provides theoretical context.
  • Chapter 3 is part of the unique approach of this book in that it covers the way in which experiments are done to determine the properties of matter. It thus provides an experimental context for the book.