Articles In Journals On Material Science essay example

1,095 words
One of the lesser known, but essentially important, fields in the natural sciences is material science or materials science. Material science is the study of the characteristics and uses of the various substances that are employed in science and technology. Unlike many other academic fields, material science correlates to many other aspects of other fields as well. Without the tools to build the machines or the paper on which we write, no other academic field would exist.

There has been much study and research on the subject of material science expressed through academic writings. The three main types of academic writings that are most prominent are journals, textbooks, and monographs, all of which use very similar and dissimilar styles and methods. Material science, like the natural sciences in general, has been around since the dawn of time. Ever since the first cave man began to examine a stone or twig, there was material science. The first material scientists were not regarded as such, but were instead the ancient artisans, blacksmiths, and metallurgists who forged the way for modern technology. Stone tools developed into clay and ceramics, soon followed by the discovery of metals.

Alloys and glasses were discovered shortly afterwards, which led to the dawn of the industrial revolution and technology, as we know it today (Koch). Like in all natural sciences, new discoveries and technological advances in material science is happening daily. Material science is based on both the tangible and intangible aspects of substances, and thus, researchers and experts in the field rely heavily on experimentation, artifacts, and the substances themselves. Since no one was who was living in the prehistoric times is still alive researchers much rely on the artifacts and archeological findings in order to study the advancements in material science (Sass 19). In order to identify the basic crystalline or amorphous structures of different materials, the materials must undergo different experimentation such as x-ray or neutron diffraction (Guy 37-53). The examples of the immense research and experimentation necessary in material science are immeasurable.

Also, in material science, like all other fields of study, there are certain assumptions and understood concepts, such as the existence an atom. Because there is no such thing as a perfect environment, except in a vacuum, scientists also have to make many assumptions involving these perfect or ideal situations, such as in ideal-solution behavior (85-86). Researchers have to often make assumptions when dealing with the history of material science as well. It is impossible to know exactly how the first tools and materials were used or even how they were discovered since there is no actual written record of events (Sass 15-17). All the evidence and assumptions, however, go hand in hand in order to effectively represent the material sciences. Academic journals are the most prevalent resource in material science.

The articles in journals on material science ask very specific questions and their purpose is to discuss information about a specific topic or to communicate research results. Stadelmaier and Austins Materials Science Research is composed entirely of the proceedings at a Research Conference on Structure and Properties of Engineering Materials. Since the topics are so specific, the audience of academic journals is those who are experts or professionals in the field. The organization for most academic journals has a preface, table of contents, and the individual articles. Each article usually begins with the authors credentials, an abstract, and an introduction.

Then, the article is divided into different sections followed by some type of summary or conclusion and references; the entire journal concludes with an index. Some journals also begin with an acknowledgments section and / or an overview. Different journals may include or exclude sections depending on the subject and who the editors are. For instance, Buncinells Composite Materials: Fatigue and Fracture includes a keywords section, which is not typical in an academic journal. Because of the advanced audience level and topic, the reader is expected to already have a firm foundation on the subject, and the language is often very complex, with extensive use of jargon.

Very rarely is any term defined in the article. The ideas conveyed in academic journals are usually very difficult; however, they are presented in the most simplistic way possible. The sentences are usually very concise and complete, usually in the active voice. Journals are very direct and impersonal, with a formal and detached tone; the first person pronoun is almost never used.

The titles of the journal articles are also very formal. They must be long and detailed in order for a person to be able to just read the title and know exactly what the article is discussing such as with the article Metal organic Deposition of High-Jc Ba 2 You 3 O 7 - x Thin Films on Single Crystal Substrates (Heir as 13). The smaller typeface and font also help to give academic journals a more formal tone. Titles are usually written in bold with subtitles italicized, and occasionally an editor will choose to use a different font in certain articles.

Several graphs, charts, and pictures, all labeled as figures, are used widely through out academic journals. Books in material science are the most broad of all academic writings. They encompass the larger area of information on materials and are written to teach and inform. The audience is mainly for the student or anyone with the desire to learn about the field.

The purpose and audience are usually directly stated in the preface or introduction of books. For example, in Guys Preface of Introduction to Materials Science, he specifically states, This is a textbook for students in engineering, the physical sciences, and the biological sciences. It is also intended for the practicing engineer or scientist who wishes to obtain a background in the broad field of materials. Its aims are to give and understanding of the nature and behavior of metals, ceramics, and polymers, to compare the characteristics of these materials, and to furnish a sound foundation for further study and use of specific materials in technology and science (xvii).

Books are usually organized with a table of contents, preface or introduction, acknowledgements, chapters divided into different sections, references, and an index. Guy also chose to include a section designated for word problems dealing with material science..