This is the third book in the new series "Material Research and Engineering," devoted to the science and technology of materials. "MRE" evolves from a previous series on "Reine und Angewandte Metallkunde," which was edited by Werner Koster until his eightieth birthday in 1976. For the new series, the presentation as well as the scope had to be modified. In particular, the scientific and technological links between volumes on metallic, non-metallic, and composite materials should reflect the successful development of materials science and engineering within the last two decades. Thus, the material provided by Dorre and Hlibner for the present volume is partic- ularly welcome. Alumina as a ceramic material has received very large attention as an object of scientific investigation in all of its aspects. Additionally, it plays a leading role as a nonmetallic material in many fields of technical appli- cation. This book deals with both aspects: in Chapter 2 (physical properties) and 3 (me- chanical properties), H. Hlibner presents an outstanding documentation of what one might call the science of alumina, based on 560 literature references and 15 years of personal experience gained from experimental and theoretical work in university laboratories in Erlangen, Rio de Janeiro, and Hamburg. In Chapter 4 (fabrication) and 5 (applications), E.