Materials Chemistry and Physics

Materials science focuses on materials at every level–in addition to the materials the chemists work on, materials scientists may work on metals, semiconductors, and ceramics. Materials science also focuses on understanding the structure of materials, while chemistry focuses more on chemical reactions. Material chemistry involves the use of chemistry for the formation and synthesis of materials with interesting or potentially useful physical properties, such as magnetic, optical, structural or catalytic properties. The intellectual origins of materials science date back to the age of knowledge, when researchers began to use analytical thinking from chemistry, physics, and engineering to understand ancient, extraordinary observations in metallurgy and mineralogy. Materials science still includes components of physics, chemistry, and engineering.

Material physics is the use of physics to describe the physical properties of materials. It is a synthesis of physics such as chemistry, solid mechanics, solid state physics and materials science. Materials Physics is considered a subset of condensed matter physics and applies the basic condensed matter concept to complex multiphase media, including materials of technological interest. Current areas in which physicists work include electronic, optical and magnetic materials, novel materials and structures, quantum phenomena in materials, no equilibrium physics, and soft condensed matter physics. New experimental and computational tools are constantly improving how material systems are modelled and studied and there are areas where physicists work.

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