Materials Science

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An ant viewed by a scanning electron microscope.

Materials science is the study of the structural and functional properties of materials. It focuses on the factors inherent within materials that influence their properties. These factors include composition, the structure of the matter within the material and the type and quantity of defects that are present. It is a multidisciplinary subject that draws upon and feeds back to the learning in just about every field of science and engineering in some way or another placing the subject in a central role to many of the activities in these related subjects.

This book is aimed at those studying materials science at the undergraduate level in university whether as their major field or as a single module of a related engineering course.


  1. Introduction
  2. Structure of Matter
  3. Material Processing
  4. Material Characterization
  5. Thermodynamics
  6. Thermochromics
  7. Crystallography
  8. Biocompatible Material
  9. Analytical Techniques
  10. Materials
  11. Useful Formulas

Common Symbols[edit]

Term Definition Units (metric) Subject
r radius m Structure of Matter
 a_0 unit cell dimension m Structure of Matter
APF Atomic Packing Factor Structure of Matter
 \rho density  g/cm^3
n number of atoms/ unit cell Structure of Matter
A atomic weight g/mol Structure of Matter
 V_c Volume of unit cell  m^3 Structure of Matter
 N_A Avogadro's number 6.022 E23 atoms/mol Structure of Matter


Term Definition Notes
Bonding Energy Energy required to separate two atoms to and infinite separation Example
Polymer Example Example
Mer Example Example
Ceramic Material that is nonmetallic and inorganic
Linear Density
Planar Density