- 1. Gold, sand, and string
- 2. Close inspection
- 3. Tough but slippery
- 4. Electric blue
- 5. Making stuff and making things
- 6. Such quantities of sand
The study of materials and their properties forms a major area of research that supports innovation and technology. Using modern scientific techniques, material scientists can explore and manipulate materials, and create new materials with remarkable properties. For example, material scientists now have the possibility of creating new materials that: combine hardness with flexibility; have the ability to store digital data; that can respond to their environment; and that can be scaffolds for the growth of new biological tissue. Materials: A Very Short Introduction begins with gold, sand, and string—representing the families of metals, ceramics, and polymers—and considers the properties and processes involved in their fabrication into objects, to show how materials science brings together engineering and technology with physics, chemistry, and biology.
Keywords: carbon dioxide, cement, ceramics, chemical bond, chemistry, crystal lattice, Albert Einstein, gold, hardness, lapis lazuli, Louis Pasteur, Periodic Table, quantum mechanics, quantum theory, Lord Rayleigh, sand, X-ray crystallography, X-ray fluorescence