Materials Science


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A Definition for "Material": Atoms and molecules arranged in a static or dynamic order bound by nuclear and/or electromagnetic forces yielding a collective nature. Mission Statement Publications Experiments Experiments Publications Pictures Pictures Mission Statement



Materials exist in four forms: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Solids and liquids exhibit material properties since atoms and/or molecules form a static and dynamic structure occupying a region of space with near neighbor elements experiencing similar forces. Gases loosely fit the definition of materials. If gas atoms and/or molecules exhibit a collective nature through collisions or perhaps weak electromagnetic effects in a confined region of space, then the medium suits the definition for material. A quasi-neutral gas composed of positive and negative charges known as a plasma exhibits a collective behavior by way of electromagnetic fields. If confined in a region of space, this ionized gas also suits the definition for material.


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Last Updated: 8/4/05 1:05 PM