Materials Science is an interdisciplinary field combining physics (fundamental laws of nature), chemistry (interactions of atoms) and biology (how life interacts with materials) to elucidate the inherent properties of basic and complex systems. This includes optical (interaction with light), electrical (interaction with charge), magnetic and structural properties of everyday electronics, clothing and architecture. The Materials Science central dogma follows the sequence: Structure—Properties—Design—Performance. This involves relating the nanostructure of a material to its macroscale physical and chemical properties. By understanding and then changing the structure, material scientists can create custom materials with unique properties.
The goal of the materials science minor is to create a cross-disciplinary approach to fundamental topics in basic and applied physical sciences. Students will gain experience and perspectives from the disciplines of chemistry, physics and biology. The minor places a strong emphasis on current nanoscale research methods in addition to the basics of electronic, optical and mechanical properties of materials.
Any student with an interest in pursuing the cross-disciplinary minor in materials science should consult with the coordinator of the minor. Students are encouraged to declare their participation in their sophomore year but no later than the end of the junior year. Students also should seek an adviser from participating faculty.