The main purpose of this book is to describe the modern tools of solid state physics (in particular, electronic structure calculations and statistical thermodynamics) that enable us to understand ordering effects in alloys and to determine phase diagrams. This approach is used more to throw light on the most important physical mechanisms rather than to be able to make accurate predictions suitable for particular applications. On the other hand, more phenomenological, practically oriented approaches can expand the scope of these new theoretical insights. A second purpose of the book is to show that materials science can provide wonderful and too often ignored examples to test and discuss the most fundamental physical theories. For example, many real alloys on a face centered cubic lattice are marvellous examples of the Ising model on this lattice with many different ordered structures, commensurate or not.The text is therefore definitely theoretical, with emphasis on the methods more than on the interpretation of experiments. It contains two principal parts which follow an introductory chapter. Part one discusses the application of the Ising model to ordering phenomena in alloys and discusses the principles of the techniques described in detail. The second part is devoted to the electronic structure of alloys, its main purpose being to explain the principles of a recently developed method that enables the calculation of interatomic interactions and the justification of the use of an effective Ising model.
Preface. 1. Order and phase stabilitydisorder on a crystalline lattice: the Ising model. 3. The ground state of the Ising model. 4. Mean field approximations for the Ising model and their limitations. 5. Phase diagrams and ordering in alloys. 6. Electronic structure and the coherent potential approximation. 7. Effective pair interactions. Author index. Subject index.