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The characteristic behavior of inorganic dielectrics under thermal, electrical, and mechanical stress is explained in terms of the atomic and molecular structure of matter. Nonconductors and conductors are treated as different areas of a continuous materials spectrum. The nature and properties of constituent raw materials in representative ceramic bodies are discussed. The chemistry of their combination is analyzed and Gibbs phase rule is applied. The phenomenon of plasticity in clay-water systems and its application to forming and shaping are examined. The manufacture of bodies containing varying amounts of plastic ingredients is described, and the influence of forming techniques on resultant properties of these bodies is shown. A few of the more common dielectric materials are listed, and a number of good design practices are given.