Here is a good explanation of the more popular heat treating 'Theory', like Jim said.  the authors failed to call it 'Heat treating theory.  It is the usual treatment used in undergraduate engineering...but post graduate courses usually will cover other theories.  And with the present day heat treating methods more different theories are often used.   A while back I was reading a free ebook about one theory that I really didn't understand much at all.

The reason that it is still called a theory is that no one has developed a method of really getting into a hot hunk of steel and seeing just what is really going on with those little atoms - they get along so far with just guessing.

A popular story along these lines is, a College dean was saying to his graduation class, "You have all learned a lot of facts in the past four years, but we know that half may be true and the other half is not...we just don't know which is which".  I heard this from one of my college chemistry teachers.  And it is very true - one has to give the answers that the teacher wants whether you think it is correct or not - it doesn't have to be.  They are there just to give you some tools to go out and really learn.  One of my chemistry teachers said that he was one of three that while working for DuPont discovered Teflon in the late 30's.  
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