Some of the greatest scientists including Poisson, Faraday, Maxwell, Rayleigh, and Einstein have contributed to the theory of composite materials. Mathematically, it is the study of partial differential equations with rapid oscillations in their coefficients. Although extensively studied for more than a hundred years, an explosion of ideas in the last four decades (and particularly in the last two decades) has dramatically increased our understanding of the relationship between the properties of the constituent materials, the underlying microstructure of a composite, and the overall effective (electrical, thermal, elastic) moduli which govern the macroscopic behavior. This renaissance has been fueled by the technological need for improving our knowledge base of composites, by the advance of the underlying mathematical theory of homogenization, by the discovery of new variational principles, by the recognition of how important the subject is to solving structural optimization problems, and by the realization of the connection with the mathematical problem of quasiconvexification. This book surveys these exciting developments at the frontier of mathematics and presents many new results.

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