This book presents a set of basic understandings of the behavior and response of solids to propagating shock waves. The propagation of shock waves in a solid body is accompanied by large compressions, decompression, and shear. Thus, the shear strength of solids and any inelastic response due to shock wave propagation is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, shock compres sion of solids is always accompanied by heating, and the rise of local tempera ture which may be due to both compression and dissipation. For many solids, under a certain range of impact pressures, a two-wave structure arises such that the first wave, called the elastic prescursor, travels with the speed of sound; and the second wave, called a plastic shock wave, travels at a slower speed. Shock-wave loading of solids is normally accomplished by either projectile impact, such as produced by guns or by explosives. The shock heating and compression of solids covers a wide range of temperatures and densities. For example, the temperature may be as high as a few electron volts (1 eV = 11,500 K) for very strong shocks and the densification may be as high as four times the normal density.