It is a great pleasure to be the first person writing a review for the book by Prof. Khachaturyan, whom I know in person.
To the curious minds of today and tomorrow:
Those who are not well versed in Fourier Analysis, Matrix Algebra, and are not skilled in the use of Elasticity Theory and Statistical Thermodynamics might be very well shocked upon taking a first glance at the book. However, if the contrary is the case, you will soon discover that the entire book is nothing but a stroke of brilliance of a very creative mind. And you will also discover that text reads like poetry (no kidding)!
In this book, Prof. Khachaturyan discusses essentially all aspects of structural phase transitions in solids, i.e. diffusion kinetics, equilibrium & stability, transformations involving diffusion (nucleation & growth as well as spinodal decomposition), displacive transitions, and effects of elastic strain on microstructure development in multiphase systems. While the book is primarly focused on metallic systems, the approach presented therein is of universal validity and use, making the book very valuable.
The book most impressively introduces the reader to the concept of "superposition of static plane concentration waves" in the treatment of diffusional phase transformations and shows how Fourier analysis can be so powerfully used in studying such phase transformations.
Displacive phase transitions, on the other hand, are treated with hermitian matrices which provides a lucid method for analyzing the crystallographic changes accompanying such phase transitions. It also sets the stage to examine microstructural evolution of multiphase systems, and comprises the foundation for elastic strain effects. And in the following chapters, elastic strain effects is masterfully presented.
As someone who learned about phase transitions from classical physical metallurgy books such as Christian, Reed-Hill, Haasen,
Verhoven (still good books but...), I need to admit that the traditional presentations of these topics turn out to be very pedestrian as compared to Prof. Khachaturyan's.
This book is certainly not for the novice. Yet, I believe that graduate students in solid state physics, solid state chemistry, and materials science as well as professionals conducting research in phase transformations will find this book very useful. I highly recommend it.