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In crystals as diverse as sodium chloride, silicon dioxide,
sold xenon, pyrene, arsenic triselenide, and silver
chloride, the fundamental electronicexcitation (exciton) is
localized within its own lattice distortion field very
shortly after its creation. This book discusses the
structure if the self-trapped exciton (STE) and its
evolution along the path of its return to the ground state
or to a defect state of crytal. A comprehensive review of
experiments on STEs in a wide range of materials has been
assembled, including extensive tables of data. Throughout,
emphasisis given to the basic physics underlying various
manifestations of self-trapping. The role of the spontaneous
symmetry-breaking or "off-center"relaxation in STE
structure is examined thoroughly, and leads naturally to the
subject of lattice defect formation as a product of STE
relaxation. The theory of STEs is developed from a
localized, atomistic perspective using self-consistent
methods adapted from the theory of defects in solids. At
this time of rapid progress in STEs, researchers will
welcome the first monograph dedicaded solely to this topic.