The Coming of Materials Science

The Coming of Materials Science

1st Edition - March 16, 2001

Write a review

  • Editor: R.W. Cahn
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080426792
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080529424

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (PDF, EPub, Mobi)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


The Coming of Materials Science both covers the discipline of materials science, and draws an impressionistic map of the present state of the subject.The first chapter examines the emergence of the materials science concept, in both academe and industry. The second and third chapters delve back into the prehistory of materials science, examining the growth of such concepts as atoms, crystals and thermodynamics, and also examine the evolution of a number of neighbouring disciplines, to see what helpful parallels might emerge. The book contains numerous literature references. Many refer to the earliest key papers and books, while others are to sources, often books, offering a view of the present state of a topic. Early references are to the past but as the book continues, it brings the reader up to date with more recent sources.The author, Professor Robert Cahn FRS, has striven to be critical about the history of the discipline of materials science and to draw general conclusions about scientific practice from what he has discovered about the evolution of materials science. Further issues that the book highlights include: What is a scientific discipline? How do disciplines merge and differentiate? Can a discipline also be interdisciplinary? Is materials science a real discipline? A large range of themes is presented in the book and readers are invited to interact with the author if they reach alternative conclusions. This book is not just for reading and reference, but exists to stimulate thought and provoke discussion as well.


For Materials Scientists working in all areas of this subject requiring a book which provides a history of their field.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction. Genesis of a Concept. References. The Emergence of Disciplines. Drawing Parallels. The Natural History of Disciplines. References. Precursors of Materials Science. The Legs of the Tripod. Some Other Precursors. Early Role of Solid-State Physics. References. The Virtues of Subsidiarity. The Role of Parepisternes in Materials Science. Some Parepistemes. Genesis and Integration of Parepistemes. References. The Escape from Handwaving. The Birth of Quantitative Theory in Physical
    Metallurgy. References. Characterization. Introduction. Examination of Microstructure. Spectrometric Techniques. Thermoanalytical Methods. Hardness. Concluding Considerations. References. Functional Materials. Introduction. Electrical Materials. Magnetic Ceramics. Computer Memories. Optical Glass. Liquid Crystals. Xerography. Envoi. References. The Polymer Revolution. Beginnings. Polymer Synthesis. Concepts in Polymer Science. Crystalline and Semicrystalline Polymers. Statistical Mechanics of Polymers. Polymer Processing. Determining Molecular Weights. Polymer Surfaces and Adhesion. Electrical Properties of Polymers. References. Craft Turned into Science. Metals and Alloys for Engineering, Old and New. Plastic Forming and Fracture of Metals and Alloys and of Composites. The Evolution of Advanced Ceramics. Sintering and Powder Compaction. Strong Structural Ceramics. Glass-ceramics. References. Materials in Extreme States. Forms of Extremity. Extreme Treatments. Extreme Microstructures. Ultrahigh Vacuum and Surface Science. Extreme Thinness. Extreme Symmetry. Extreme States Compared. References. Materials Chemistry and Biomimetics. The Emergence of Materials Chemistry. Selected Topics in Materials Chemistry. Electrochemistry. References. Computer Simulation. Beginnings. Computer Simulation in Materials Science. Simulations Based on Chemical Thermodynamics. References. The Management of Data. The Nature of the Problem. Categories of Database. References. The Institutions and Literature of Materials Science. Teaching of Materials Science and Engineering. Professional Societies and their Evolution. Journals, Texts and Reference Works. Materials Science in Particular Places. Epilogue. Name Index. Subject Index.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 590
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 2001
  • Published: March 16, 2001
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080426792
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080529424

About the Editor

R.W. Cahn

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "The Coming of Materials Science"