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Statistical Thermodynamics of Crystal Plasticity

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© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This article is written in memory of Pierre Hohenberg with appreciation for his deep commitment to the basic principles of theoretical physics. I summarize recent developments in the theory of dislocation-enabled deformation of crystalline solids. This topic is especially appropriate for the Journal of Statistical Physics because materials scientists, for decades, have asserted that statistical thermodynamics is not applicable to dislocations. By use of simple, first-principles analyses and comparisons with experimental data, I argue that these people have been wrong, and that this field should now be revitalized because of its wide-ranging intellectual and technological importance.

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