1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Materials science

  1. Dec 24, 2007 #1
    I heard that in materials science you don't get to use that much math and physics, but mostly chemistry, is that true? If not, what kind of physics do grads in material science have to learn?
    And how is it combining material science with mechanical engineering?, is this a good idea?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Not in my experience.

    Are you asking about grad school? If you are, that depends entirely on the specialization of choice. For instance, if you go into any kind of microscopic modeling, you will need to know most of the standard techniques involved in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. If you are going to study catalysis or surface reaction dynamics, you will need some physical chemistry in addition. If you are dealing with electronic/magnetic materials, you will again need QM and Stat Mech. For fracture mechanics you will need Stat Mech and some chemical kinetics. For corrosion and coatings, you will need a lot of physical chemistry (particularly, electrochemistry).

    What do you mean by "combining"? Could you be a little more specific about your situation? It will help us advise you better.
  4. Dec 26, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Well, if one really wants to get down into the physics of materials, one will need some advanced mathematics, e.g. partial differential equations, tensor analysis, applied mathematics with emphasis on Finite Element Analysis.
    Absolutely. Mechanics of materials is important. Anyone specializing in an engineering discipline (e.g. Mechanical, Civil, Structural, Aerospace, Nuclear, . . .) would do well to add Materials Science and Engineering courses, or even as a second major, if possible.

    Use of mulitphysics codes is a key talent and will be in the future.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook