History of materials science

 History of materials science

Materials are so important in the development of human civilization  that the historians have identified early periods of civilization by the name  of most significantly used material, e.g.: Stone Age, Bronze Age. This is  just an observation made to showcase the importance of materials and their impact  on human civilization.  It is obvious that materials have affected and controlling  a broad range of human activities through thousands of decades. From the historical point of view, it can be  said that human civilization started with  Stone Age  where people used only natural materials,  like stone, clay, skin, and wood for the purposes like to make weapons, instruments, shelter, etc. Thus the sites of deposits for better quality stones became early colonies  of human civilization. However, the increasing need for better  quality tools brought forth  exploration that led to  Bronze Age, followed by  Iron Age. When people found copper and how  to make it harder by alloying, the  Bronze Age  started about 3000 BC. The use of iron and steel, a stronger material that gave advantage in wars started at about 1200 BC. Iron was abundant and thus  availability is not limited to the affluent. This commonness  of the material affected every person in many aspects, gaining the name  democratic  material. The next big step in human civilization was the discovery  of a cheap process to make steel around 1850 AD, which enabled the railroads and the building of the modern  infrastructure of the industrial world. One of the most significant features of the  democratic material  is that number of users just exploded. Thus there has been a need for human and material resources for centuries, which still going strong. It’s being said  and agreed that we are presently in  Space Age marked by many technological developments towards development materials resulting in stronger and light materials like composites,  electronic materials like semiconductors, materials for space voyage like high temperature ceramics, biomaterials, etc. In summary, materials constitute foundation of technology. The  history of human civilization evolved from  the Stone Age to the Bronze Age,  the Iron Age, the Steel Age, and to the Space Age (contemporaneous with the Electronic Age). Each age is marked by the advent of certain materials. The Iron  Age brought tools and utensils. The Steel Age brought railroads, instruments, and the Industrial Revolution.  The Space Age brought the materials for stronger and light structures  (e.g., composite materials). The Electronic Age brought semiconductors, and thus many  varieties of electronic gadgets. 

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