Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter, generally considered to be anything that has mass and volume, to various areas of science, a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe, and engineering, the science, skill, and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and also build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.
This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates elements of applied physics, a general term for physics which is intended for a particular technological or practical use, and chemistry, the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition structure and properties.
With significant media attention focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology (sometimes shortened to “nanotech”), the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale, in recent years, materials science has been propelled to the forefront at many universities. It is also an important part of forensic engineering, the investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not operate or function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property, and failure analysis, the process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the cause of a failure. Materials science also deals with “fundamental properties” and “characteristics” of materials.