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It is quite satisfying for an author to learn that his brainchild has been favorably accepted by students as well as by professors and thus seems to serve some useful purpose. This horizontally integrated text on the electronic properties of metals, alloys, semiconductors, insulators, ceramics, and poly meric materials has been adopted by many universities in the United States as well as abroad, probably because of the relative ease with which the material can be understood. The book has now gone through several re printing cycles (among them a few pirate prints in Asian countries). I am grateful to all readers for their acceptance and for the many encouraging comments which have been received. I have thought very carefully about possible changes for the second edition. There is, of course, always room for improvement. Thus, some rewording, deletions, and additions have been made here and there. I withstood, how ever, the temptation to expand considerably the book by adding completely new subjects. Nevertheless, a few pages on recent developments needed to be inserted. Among them are, naturally, the discussion of ceramic (high-tempera ture) superconductors, and certain elements of the rapidly expanding field of optoelectronics. Further, I felt that the readers might be interested in learning some more practical applications which result from the physical concepts which have been treated here.