- History of materials science
The history of
materials scienceis the study of how different materials were used as influenced by the history of Earthand the cultureof the peoples of the Earth.
The materials used by different cultures in most cases were the only records left for
anthropologiststo define the civilization. The progressive use of more sophisticated materials showed an innovative divide between peoples. This is partially due to the major material of use in that culture and its associated benefits and drawbacks. Stone Agecultures were limited by which stone could be found in the local area and what could be traded. The use of flintaround 300,000 BCE is sometimes considered the beginning of the use of ceramics. The use of polished stone axes marks a significant advance because many more rocks could be used as tools.
The innovation of smelting and casting metals in the
Bronze Agestarted to change the way that cultures developed and interacted with each other. Native metals of copperand goldwere reshaped without the use of fire for tools and weapons starting around 5500 BCE. Copper began to be heated and shaped with hammers around 5000 BCE. Melting and casting around 4000 BCE. Metallurgyhad its dawn with the reduction of copper from its ore around 3500 BCE. And finally, the first alloy, bronzecame into use around 3000 BCE.
In the 10th century BC,
Glassproduction begins in ancient Near East. In the 3rd century BC, Wootz steel, the first crucible steel, is invented in ancient India. In the 1st century BC, Glassblowingtechniques flourish in Phoenicia. In the 2nd century AD, steel-making becomes widespread used in Han DynastyChina. In the 4th century, the Iron pillar of Delhiis produced, and remains the oldest surviving example of corrosion-resistant steel.
Wood, bone, stone, and earthare some of the materials which formed the structures of the Roman empire. Certain structures were made possible by the character of the land upon which these structures are built; a volcanic peninsula with stone aggregates and conglomerates containing crystalline material, will produce material which weathers differently from soft, sedimentary rock and silt. That is one of the reasons that the concretePantheon of Romecould last for 1850 years. And why the thatched farmhouses of Hollandsketched by Rembrandthave long since decayed.
thigh bone daggers of the early hunter-gatherers were superseded by wood and stone axes, and then by copper, bronzeand ironimplements of the Roman civilization, more precious materials could then be sought, and gathered together. Thus the medievalgoldsmith Benvenuto Cellinicould seek and defend the gold which he had to turn into objects of desire for dukes and popes. His "autobiography" contains one of the first descriptions of a metallurgical process.
In the 8th century,
porcelainis invented in Tang DynastyChina, the streets of Baghdadare the first to be paved with tar(derived from petroleumthrough destructive distillation),Dr. Kasem Ajram (1992). "Miracle of Islamic Science", Appendix B. Knowledge House Publishers. ISBN 0911119434.] and the tin-glazingof ceramics is invented by Arabic chemists and potters in Basra, Iraq. [cite journal |last=Mason |first=Robert B. |title=New Looks at Old Pots: Results of Recent Multidisciplinary Studies of Glazed Ceramics from the Islamic World |journal=Muqarnas: Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture |date=1995 |volume=XII |publisher=Brill Academic Publishers |id=ISBN 9004103147 |pages=1] Geber(Jabir ibn Hayyan) invents artificial pearls, describes the purificationof greasy or discoloured pearls and the first recipes for the dyingand artificial colouring of gemstones and pearls,cite web |url=http://www.history-science-technology.com/Articles/articles%2092.htm |title=The Colouring of Gemstones, The Purifying and Making of Pearls And Other Useful Recipes |accessdate=2008-03-29|last=Hassan |first=Ahmad Y |authorlink=Ahmad Y Hassan |work=History of Science and Technology in Islam] invents lustreware, [cite web |url=http://www.history-science-technology.com/Articles/articles%2091.htm |title=Lustre Glass |accessdate=2008-03-29|last=Hassan |first=Ahmad Y |authorlink=Ahmad Y Hassan |work=History of Science and Technology in Islam] [cite web |url=http://www.history-science-technology.com/Notes/Notes%209.htm |title=Lazaward And Zaffer Cobalt Oxide In Islamic And Western Lustre Glass And Ceramics |accessdate=2008-03-29|last=Hassan |first=Ahmad Y |authorlink=Ahmad Y Hassan |work=History of Science and Technology in Islam] and describes the first recipes for the manufactureof gluefrom cheese.
In the 9th century, stonepaste ceramics invented in
Iraq. [cite journal |last=Mason |first=Robert B. |title=New Looks at Old Pots: Results of Recent Multidisciplinary Studies of Glazed Ceramics from the Islamic World |journal=Muqarnas: Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture |date=1995 |volume=XII |publisher=Brill Academic Publishers |id=ISBN 9004103147 |pages=5] In the 10th century, Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi(Rhazes) states he and his Arabic predecessors ( Calid, Geber and Alkindus) invented the following derivative and artificial materials: lead(II) oxide(PbO), red lead(Pb3O4), tin(II) oxide("Isfidaj"), copper acetate("Zaniar"), copper(II) oxide(CuO), lead sulfide, zinc oxide, bismuth oxide, antimonyoxide, iron rust, iron acetate, "Daws" (a contituent of steel), cinnabar(HgS), arsenic trioxide(As2O3), alkali("al-Qili"), sodium hydroxide(caustic soda), and "Qalimiya" (anything that separates from metals during their purification)cite web |url=http://www.history-science-technology.com/Articles/articles%2010.htm |title=Arabic Alchemy: Science of the Art |accessdate=2008-03-29 |last=Hassan |first=Ahmad Y |authorlink=Ahmad Y Hassan |work=History of Science and Technology in Islam]
In the 11th century,
Damascus steelis developed in the Middle East. In the 15th century, Johann Gutenbergdevelops type metalalloy and Angelo Barovier invents cristallo, a clear soda-based glass.
Early modern period
In the 16th century,
Vannoccio Biringucciopublishes first systematic book on metallurgy, Georg Agricolawrites an influential book on metallurgy, and glass lens are developed in the Netherlandsand used for the first time in microscopes and telescopes.
In the 17th century,
Galileo's " Two New Sciences" ( strength of materialsand kinematics) includes the first quantitative statements in the science of materials. In the 18th century, William Championpatents a process for the production of metallic zincby distillationfrom calamineand charcoal, Bry Higgins issued a patentfor hydraulic cement ( stucco) for use as an exterior plaster, and Alessandro Voltamakes a copper/zinc acidbattery.
In the 19th century,
Thomas Johann Seebeckinvents the thermocouple, Joseph Aspin invents Portland cement, Hans Christian Ørstedproduces metallic aluminium, Charles Goodyearinvents vulcanized rubber, Louis Daguerreand William Fox Talbotinvent silver-based photographic processes, James Clerk Maxwelldemonstrates color photography, and Charles Frittsmakes the first solar cells using seleniumwaffles.
Modern materials science
In the early part of the 20th century, most engineering schools had a department of
metallurgyand perhaps of ceramics as well. Much effort was expended on consideration of the austenite- martensite- cementitephases found in the iron-carbon phase diagramthat underlies steelproduction. The fundamental understanding of other materials was not sufficiently advanced for them to be considered as academic subjects. In the post-WWII era, the systematic study of polymers advanced particularly rapidly. Rather than create new polymer science departments in engineering schools, administrators and scientists began to conceive of materials science as a new interdisciplinary field in its own right, one that considered all substances of engineering importance from a unified point of view. Northwestern Universityinstituted the first materials science department in 1955.
The [http://www.mrs.org Materials Research Society] (MRS) has been instrumental in creating an identity and cohesion for this young field. MRS was the brainchild of researchers at
Penn State Universityand grew out of discussions initiated by Prof. Rustum Royin 1970. The first meeting of MRS was held in 1973. As of 2006, MRS has grown into an international society that sponsors a large number of annual meetings and has over 13,000 members. MRS sponsors meetings that are subdivided into symposia on a large variety of topics as opposed to the more focused meetings typically sponsored by organizations like the American Physical Societyor the IEEE. The fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of MRS meetings has had a strong influence on the direction of science, particularly in the popularity of the study of soft materials, which are in the nexus of biology, chemistry, physics and mechanical and electrical engineering.
Timeline of materials technology
History of Ferrous Metallurgy
* [http://hist-met.org/ Historical Metallurgy Society]
* [http://www.plastiquarian.com/ Plastics History Society]
* [http://www.historyofglass.org.uk/AHG.htm Association for the History of Glass]
*History of Silk
Benvenuto Cellini( 1500- 1571) "Autobiography".
Galileo, 1638 Two New Sciences. Leiden: Louis Elsevier.
* [http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/bin.asp?CID=2798&DID=155088&DOC=FILE.PDF 20th anniversary issue of MRS Bulletin] from 1973.
* Northwestern University [http://www.northwestern.edu/observer/issues/2005/10/20/materials.html press release] about 50th anniversary of its Materials Science Department in 2005.
* "Solid State Science: Past, Present and Predicted," edited by D.L. Weaire and C.G. Windsor, ISBN 0-85274-584-2.
Robert W. Cahn
Sir Charles Frank
Arthur R. von Hippel
Sir Peter Hirsch
Henry Clifton Sorby
Geoffrey Ingram Taylor
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