Materials Science

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Materials Science

Post by Algerien1970 on Sun 17 May - 14:01

Materials Science

Have you ever wondered why a silver mirror reflects light that passes through a sheet of glass? Why the metal body of a car left in the summer sun feels so much hotter than the grass next to which it was parked? Why a glass shatters when dropped on the floor, but not the spoon used to stir its contents? Why metals conduct both heat and electricity, but not ceramics such as the tiles that protect the Space Shuttle as it re-enters the atmosphere?

The answers to these questions, and a host of others, lie within the realm of the field known as materials science. The struggle to harness materials isn't new, it traces back to pre-historic times. But recent advances in the synthesis and uses of materials based on an understanding of their structures and properties � rather than trial and error � have produced new materials with revolutionary properties. We now have ceramic dishes that can go directly from the refrigerator to a hot burner without breaking. Integrated circuits that have brought computers to a point only dreamed of twenty years ago - a computer on every desk. We have new alloys for use in airplanes or tennis rackets that provide strength without weight. And we have taken the first steps toward superconducting materials that will allow us to build trains that float above the surface of the tracks on which they run.

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