What is Materials Science

 What is Materials Science ?

Materials science (and engineering), MSE, is arguably the most important engineering discipline. Materials have always been important to the advance of civilization: entire eras are named after them. After evolving from  the Stone Age through the Bronze  and Iron Ages, now in the modern era we have vast numbers of tailored materials to make use  of. We are really living in the Materials  Age. The field of Materials Science deals  with all classes of materials from  a unified viewpoint and  with an emphasis on the connections between the underlying structure and  the processing, properties, and performance of  the material. A materials scientist studies how materials react/behave  when subjected to different conditions (such as mechanical loads,  temperature and pressure) and understands that all materials can be approached from  a common set of principles. Most  fields in science and engineering are concerned in some  way or other with materials, but only the field of  materials science and engineering focuses directly on them. First, what are materials?  That’s  not difficult. Just look around. Materials are everywhere! The book we are using is made from a variety  of  materials. The glass  in  the windows, the aluminium  frame, the ceramic dinnerware, the metal silverware and jewelry, automobiles, and everywhere we look we see products made from  materials.  Most products are  made from  many different  kinds of materials to satisfy the needs of the product. Work and study in the field of materials science is  anchored around an understanding of why materials behave the way they do, and encompasses how  materials are made and how new ones can be developed. For example, the way materials are processed is often important. People in the Iron  Age discovered this when they learned that soft iron could be heated and then quickly cooled to make a material hard enough to plow the earth; and the same  strategy is used today to make high-strength aluminum  alloys for jet aircraft. Today we demand more from  our materials than  mechanical strength, of course–electrical, optical, and  magnetic properties, for example,  are crucial for many applications. As a result,  modern materials science focuses on ceramics, polymers,  and semiconductors,  as well as on materials, such as metals and glasses, that have  a long history of use. In  these and other areas of science and technology, materials scientists are indeed key participants.

Leave a Comment