ABSTRACT

In some sense, materials science began to make tools from stone at the start of the Stone Age. At that time, emphasis was on applications of materials, with no understanding of the microscopic origins of material properties. Nevertheless, the possession of a stone axe or other implement certainly was an advantage to an individual. One major change over the millennia of the "Materials Age" has been the understanding of the properties of materials and consequent ability to develop and prepare materials for particular applications. Materials research has been defined as the relationships between and among the structure, properties, processing, and performance of materials. Modern materials have had immeasurable impact on our daily lives. Future developments in materials science could include the predictable and the unimaginable. One of the most basic properties of materials, underlying almost all material properties, is structure. This can range from the random "organization" of an amorphous material to the beautiful morphology associated with a crystal.