Materials science Definition and 25 Discussions

The interdisciplinary field of materials science, also commonly termed materials science and engineering, covers the design and discovery of new materials, particularly solids. The intellectual origins of materials science stem from the Enlightenment, when researchers began to use analytical thinking from chemistry, physics, and engineering to understand ancient, phenomenological observations in metallurgy and mineralogy. Materials science still incorporates elements of physics, chemistry, and engineering. As such, the field was long considered by academic institutions as a sub-field of these related fields. Beginning in the 1940s, materials science began to be more widely recognized as a specific and distinct field of science and engineering, and major technical universities around the world created dedicated schools for its study.
Materials scientists emphasize understanding, how the history of a material (processing) influences its structure, and thus the material's properties and performance. The understanding of processing-structure-properties relationships is called the materials paradigm. This paradigm is used to advance understanding in a variety of research areas, including nanotechnology, biomaterials, and metallurgy.
Materials science is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis – investigating materials, products, structures or components, which fail or do not function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property. Such investigations are key to understanding, for example, the causes of various aviation accidents and incidents.

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  1. KingoftheChaosEmpire

    "Rigid airship" using low density hydrogen (LDH) inflation

    I know now that making a full on vacuum airship is unfeasible for it's compressive properties. So why not just make a rigid airship that is evacuated enough that the hydrogen is no longer significantly dangerous to it's surroundings, using say 25-30% density of neutral hydrogen? What's the...
  2. P

    A Acceptable Atmosphere for CZ/Float-zone Refining

    Both the cz (Czochralski Process), and Float-zone refining of silicon require an inert atmosphere, usually argon. How pure does the argon atmosphere have to be? How high of a vacuum has to be pulled before releasing argon into the tank?
  3. Lren Zvsm

    Slightly More Plausible Barriers Than Force Fields

    I am contemplating writing a science fiction story involving flexible barriers that can be erected in a very short time. Force fields are pervasive in science fiction, but from what little I've read, they're not very plausible. Is there a flexible material, or class of materials, that...
  4. P

    Silicon not heating with induction heater?

    I’m using an inductive heater to try to melt some 99.85% polycrystalline silicon, as would occur in the Czochralski process, but the silicon workpiece is not melting let alone even getting hot. The silicon workpiece is about the size of a playing dice. It becomes conductive at 200 F and becomes...
  5. Joaco

    Studying Condensed Matter Physics Grade vs Materials Science?

    Hi, I'm an undergrad materials engineering student. I am thinking of studying all the way to a PhD as I'm interested on working in research. Right now I work with Semiconductors and I like the field a lot. However, considering what I'm studying, I want to know if it's a good Idea to look for a...
  6. D

    Calculating percent elongation and determining ductility?

    Homework Statement A specimen with an original length of 165 mm is subjected to a tensile load of 4500 N until it breaks. It’s final length is 202 mm. Calculate the specimen’s ductility in terms of percent elongation to break. Homework Equations ((Lf - Lo) / Lo) * 100 = %EL The Attempt at a...
  7. Quentin_alex

    Discontinuous yielding in a low alloy steel

    What could prevent the discontinuous yield (upper and lower) points during a tensile test on a low alloy steel A706 grade? Thanks.
  8. E

    Different metals and their compounds' reaction to Microwaves

    Does anyone know of any studies into exactly how much various metals reflect or absorb microwaves with relationship to the microwaves wavelength and ideally theyt compounds too?
  9. fluidistic

    I Ways to measure voltage?

    Consider a solid material such as a conductor. I would like to know if there are ways to determine the voltage at specific spots on the material, without plugging a metallic wire and connect it to a voltmeter. I know voltage is relative and I'm interested in checking voltage differences across...
  10. N

    Is it possible to do this without Poission's ratio?

    this is the problem as our professor gave it to us "A steel alloy bar (modulus of elasticity of 205 GPa) is 20mm in diameter and experiances an elastic deformation by applying a force along its axis (IE pulling it apart perpendicular to the circular cross section). Determine the...
  11. AD MCFC

    Engineering BS Physics to Materials Science Graduate Advice/Thoughts

    Hello All, I am currently a junior in physics and have set sights on Materials Science (Electronic Materials/Nanotechnology) for grad school. My school does not offer MS.Eng as a degree and so the only Materials Science course I can enroll in as the general "Introduction to Materials Science...
  12. hdp12

    Trying to saw a 1/2 in Al rod in half with only 4 AA batteries as the power source

    Hi there So we have a group design project in my mechanical systems 2 class and it basically goes as follows: design a mechanism to cut a half inch aluminum bar in half using a standard hacksaw blade and 4 AA batteries. You have to use a motor w/ input > 5000 rpm for the 'main' component we...
  13. A

    Polyhedron tensile strength

    Hello All, First off great forum; lots of useful info on here. I was wondering if anyone had any experience or could refer me to a text regarding the tensile strength of polyhedrons? I am experimenting using various types for a super strong mechanism to aide manufacturers during metal...
  14. Naytile

    Programs Materials PhD help: Low GRE score spooks physics major

    Hi. So, I took the general GRE the other day and did crappy on the Quant. This worries me. I'm applying to Materials Engineering PhD programs soon. I'd like to get some opinions of how deep of a ditch I've dug for grad school, or how much this retracts from the rest of my credentials. Do I stand...
  15. Metals

    Difference between Young's Modulus and spring constant?

    I have read that Young's Modulus, like spring constant, is a measure of stiffness (how hard it is to deform a material). Though apparently, Young's Modulus is a way of doing so that applies only to the material and not its shape, where a spring constant value depends on the dimensions of the...
  16. B

    I Lab experiment: hysteresis disappears, reappears and then disappears again. How?

    Hi people, In my college laboratory we were assigned an experiment to measure the hysteresis curves of a certain ferromagnetic material at different temperatures. Sounds simple, right? Well, the block of Monel 400 we chose did something weird. We cooled it down to about -200°C and set about to...
  17. M

    Engineering Materials Engineering vs Biomaterials Engineering

    Hello everyone, I am currently enrolled in a Materials Engineering course, but I recently found out that I might be allowed to switch to Biomaterials Engineering, which sounds a bit more appealing to me, since, at the moment, I am interested in a career in the pharmaceutical sector. However...
  18. hdp12

    Chemistry Determine Weight Percent given molecular weight...

    Homework Statement So for my homework assignment in 'Materials Science and Engineering', We were given the following problem. 1. Li and Ra both are both BCC metals. For this problem assume they form a complete solid solution (even though the very large difference in their atomic size tell us...
  19. F

    Interstitial position probability?

    Homework Statement A silicon crystal is being doped with Ni atoms. The formation energies for substitutional and interstitial Ni atoms are Es= 0.74 eV and Ei=0.16 eV, respectively. At 320 centigrade, what is the probability for a Ni atom to be placed in an interstitial configurations...
  20. Wyn

    Engineering Intro to the Physics and Chemistry of Materials by Naumann

    This is the book that is required for my materials science II class but I can't find this book, I can't even find the contents so I can find a similar book. Do you know any?
  21. F

    Failure analysis

    Hello. My professor has asked the class to find a few reports of failure analysis. We need reports that contains high quality pictures of the failed component and the data of the failed component. Also we can not have a failure report with amorphous materials(glass, plastics ect) Links or...
  22. F

    Engineering Difference Between Solid State Physicist and Materials Engineer

    I would like to know what is the difference between a solid state physicist and a materials engineer. I mean, do they end up doing the same kind of job or research? If they both have the same purpose, how can they do it having different backgrounds? Which preparation is better for the purpose?
  23. Ganesh Ujwal

    Why don't metals bond when touched together?

    It is my understanding that metals are a crystal lattice of ions, held together by delocalized electrons, which move freely through the lattice (and conduct electricity, heat, etc.). If two pieces of the same metal are touched together, why don't they bond? It seems to me the delocalized...
  24. A

    Mysterious boiling phenomenon during experiment

    Greetings, I am a student in my third year of engineering (materials science) and I was performing a lab experiment in which I was asked to calculate the heat capacity of metals using thermodynamic relationships. The experiment was done by placing a metal sample into a foam container filled...
  25. E

    Materials Intensive Industries/Companies?

    Long post, read the TL;DR if you please! Hi everybody, first post here. Probably should have asked this much earlier, but I didn't find this site till just a few minutes ago. I'm a senior studying materials science and engineering, I'm planning to stay another year for a master's degree in...