"Every element says something to someone (something different to each) like the mountain valleys or beaches visited in youth. One must perhaps make an exception for carbon, because it says everything to everyone." Primo Levi

The Physics of Graphite by Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly was a major figure in British carbon science, with strong links to the British carbon group.  Since 1996 the British Carbon Group have organised the “Brian Kelly Awards” designed to support attendance of a young scientist to the annual carbon conference.  A key part of the legacy Brian has left the carbon community is his 1981 book “The Physics of Graphite”, still an important reference book in our field some forty years later.  The book rights are now owned by Springer Nature Ltd, who have kindly agreed to let us distribute the pdf through the British Carbon Group website.  You are welcome to download and use this book to help with your research.

Download The Physics of Graphite by Brian Kelly (8MB pdf)
(you will need a password for this, it is in the British Carbon Group newsletter or you can contact a member of the committee).


“It is a commonly held view among scientists that carbons and graphites are awkward and intractable materials to study. This view is supported by their rare appearance in text books describing the physics and chemistry of solids.
It is my belief that this view has grown up because of the complex chemical behaviour of these solids, whereas the physical behaviour is understood to a remarkable degree and is a rewarding subject for study.
I have written this book in the hope of rectifying this situation in some small way, and also because the study of these materials has brought me considerable pleasure and the good fellowship of the ‘carbon’ community.
I can recommend the study of the properties of carbons and graphites to any new graduate who is accustomed to the ideal materials described in text books – no material is more ‘real’.

[..] The work involved in preparing ‘Physics of Graphite’ has given me considerable pleasure. It remains to hope that it will excite the interest of those who teach the physics of solids but who have not known of the extent of knowledge in this field and also those coming fresh to the properties of solids – there are plenty of problems remaining!
B. T. Kelly



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