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Materials science

(Redirected from Material science)

Materials science includes those parts of chemistry, physics, geology, and even biology that deal with the physical, chemical or biological properties of materials. Despite having the word "science" in its title, materials science is generally considered to be a branch of engineering.

Materials science encompasses four classes of materials, the study of each of which may be considered a separate field:

  1. metals
  2. ceramics
  3. polymers
  4. composites

Metallurgy and ceramics have long and separate histories as engineering disciplines, but because the science that underlies these disciplines applies to all classes of materials, materials science is recognized as a distinct discipline.

Materials science is related to materials engineering, which tends to focus on processing techniques (casting, rolling, welding, ion implantation, crystal growth , thin-film deposition, sintering, glassblowing, etc.), analytical techniques (electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, calorimetry, nuclear microscopy (HEFIB) etc.), materials design, and cost/benefit tradeoffs in industrial production of materials.


Sub-fields of materials science

Note that some practitioners often consider rheology a sub-field of materials science, because it can cover any material that flows. However, a typical rheology paper covers non-Newtonian fluid dynamics, so we place it as a sub-field of Continuum mechanics. See also granular material.

See also

Related topics in physics

Other topics


Analytical chemistry | Organic chemistry | Inorganic chemistry | Physical chemistry | Polymer chemistry | Biochemistry | Materials science | Environmental chemistry | Pharmacy | Thermochemistry | Electrochemistry | Nuclear chemistry | Computational chemistry
Periodic table | List of compounds

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45