What Is Materials Science

The field of Materials Science, which encompasses the science, engineering and technology of materials, is an interdisciplinary area involving the structure and properties of matter with application to the design, development and manufacture of real products.

What Is Materials Science?

Materials science focuses on the relationship between the atomic and molecular structure of a material, the properties of the material (such as strength, electrical conductivity or optical properties), and ways in which the material is manufactured or processed into a shape or product. Another important part of materials science is how products can be improved using the knowledge of structure and processing techniques and how structure and processing influence material properties. This includes the study of the wide variety of classes of materials, from metals and composites to natural fibers and biological structures. Materials science, engineering and technology include elements of applied physics and chemistry, along with aspects of electronics, manufacturing and production, combined with environmental, cost and quality considerations. The field is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis with applications from aerospace to health. With significant media attention focused in recent years on new areas such as nanotechnology, biomaterials and electronic and optical systems, materials science has been propelled to the forefront of the public's consciousness. This leads materials technology, engineering and science to a new threshold of importance in the future of science and technology.