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Materials sciences - an interdisciplinary research field

Materials sciences involves the research, development, characterization, manufacture and processing of materials.

Materials sciences- the basis

As an interdisciplinary field, materials sciences encompasseschemistry, physics, mineralogyand many other areas of science. As a result, it is also tied closely to copper, iron and steel.

The transition from natural materials such as stone, wood, ivory or leather to the targeted production of materials such as copper, steel or iron

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Copper, steel and iron were produced as early as the Neolithic, roughly around 4,300 B.C. Copper and iron were produced as far back as the New Stone Age, roughly 4,300 B.C. This was then followed by the transition to the Bronze Age. It wasn't until the Iron Age that apart from iron, steel and copper, aluminum was also produced using the Hall-Héroult process. For a long time, materials sciences was interested almost exclusively in metals such as iron, copper and steel. However, this has changed with the rediscovery of concrete. While the first, mass-produced plastic materials eventually attracted the interest of the broad public, materials sciences continues to carry out research into iron, copper and steel.

The first metals and the ancient times

Copper, steel and iron were the first metals that mankind became familiar with as it evolved. Copper is very easy to process. As a result, copper was already being used 10,000 years ago by the oldest known cultures 10,000. The era of large-scale copper use (between 3,000 and 5,000 B.C.) is referred to as the Copper Age. The devotees of alchemy associate copper with Venus, the symbol of femininity. The first mirrors were even made from copper. The Roman Empire was the largest producer of copper prior to the Industrial Age. Copper remains an extremely popular material.

Steel - stable and dependable

Mankind has acquired long years of practical experience with steel. Steel is a preferred material in engineering because of its durability, excellent corrosion properties and suitability for welding. It is significantly more stable than copper. The European steel registry lists more than 2,300 types of steel. Coal and steel served as the pillars of heavy industry over a long period of time and were thus the foundations of political power. Steel is defined as an iron-carbon alloy with less than 2.06 percent carbon content. Steel, or iron, has a density of 7.85-7.87 g/cm3. Steel melts at a temperature that can be as high as 1,536°C and therefore withstands much higher temperatures than copper.Steel was first produced around 1,000 B.C., much later than copper. In an ecological sense, steel is a sustainable material because it can be continuously reused with minimal quality loss .

Iron - from decoration to general utility

The use of iron was first recorded around 4,000 B.C. in Egypt. It was a solid iron used for decorations and for making spear tips. It was more suitable for these purposes than steel or copper. Smelted iron appeared later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, but it was only intended for ceremonial purposes. Perhaps iron came about as a byproduct of bronze production. After the Hethiter developed a method to produce iron, cultures became increasingly reliant on iron between 1,600 and 1,200 B.C. Iron is thought to be a major element of the earth's core, along with nickel. Iron is produced by reducing iron ore through a chemical reaction with carbon. In contrast to steel or copper, iron is produced in blast furnaces.

Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Latest News:

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“Seeing” molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics

For the first time, researchers have directly seen how organic molecules bind to other materials at the atomic level. Using a special kind of electron microscopy, this information can lead to increasing the life span of electronic devices, for example.

Organic materials are increasingly being applied in cutting-edge technologies. Organic semiconductors, for example, are being used to develop paper-thin,...

03.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Controlling phase changes in solids

A recent study demonstrates the rapid control of phase-changes in resonantly bonded materials

Rewritable CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs owe their existence to phase-change materials, those materials that change their internal order when heated and whose...

29.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Smart Hydrogel Coating Creates “Stick-slip” Control of Capillary Action

Coating the inside of glass microtubes with a polymer hydrogel material dramatically alters the way capillary forces draw water into the tiny structures, researchers have found. The discovery could provide a new way to control microfluidic systems, including popular lab-on-a-chip devices.

Coating the inside of glass microtubes with a polymer hydrogel material dramatically alters the way capillary forces draw water into the tiny structures,...

28.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

UC Riverside researchers find a way to use the infrared region of the sun's spectrum to make solar cells more efficient

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells -- made often of...

28.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point

Using powerful computer simulations, researchers from Brown University have identified a material with a higher melting point than any known substance.

The computations, described in the journal Physical Review B (Rapid Communications), showed that a material made with just the right amounts of hafnium,...

28.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Young Scientist Discovers Magnetic Material Unnecessary to Create Spin Current

It doesn’t happen often that a young scientist makes a significant and unexpected discovery, but postdoctoral researcher Stephen Wu of the U.S. Department of...

27.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Quantum dots light the way

A drug-encapsulating nanoparticle teams up with bright bio-labels to measure how anticancer chemotherapy formulations enter cells

Polymer nanoparticles that release medicine at controlled rates inside cells have the potential to enhance the efficacy of many clinical drugs. A*STAR...

21.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Trapped light orbits within an intriguing material

Light becomes trapped as it orbits within tiny granules of a crystalline material that has increasingly intrigued physicists, a team led by University of California, San Diego, physics professor Michael Fogler has found.

Hexagonal boron nitride, stacked layers of boron and nitrogen atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, has recently been found to bend electromagnetic energy in...

17.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

Discovery of a "heat-storage ceramic"

New material releases stored heat under weak pressure

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered a new type of material which stores heat energy for a prolonged period, which they have termed a “heat...

16.07.2015 | nachricht Read more

On the way to breaking the terahertz barrier for graphene nanoelectronics

Simple thermodynamics defines the performance of ultrafast graphene transistors and photodetectors

A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) discovered that electrical conduction in graphene on the picosecond timescale - a...

16.07.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Glaciers melt faster than ever

Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together...

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

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