The interdisciplinary field of materials science, also commonly known as materials science and engineering, involves the discovery and design of new materials, with an emphasis on solids. The intellectual origins of materials science stem from the Enlightenment, when researchers began to use analytical thinking from chemistry, physics, and engineering to understand ancient, phenomenological observations in metallurgy and mineralogy.
Many of the most pressing scientific problems humans currently face are due to the limitations of the materials that are available and, as a result, breakthroughs in materials science are likely to have a significant impact.
Materials in research
Materials science has received much attention from researchers. In most universities, many departments ranging from physics to chemistry to chemical engineering—in addition to materials science departments—are involved in materials research. Research in materials science is vibrant and consists of many avenues.