According to the California Institute of Technology/CIT (2012), material science entails the fundamental study of solid matter with an aim of coming up with new materials with improved properties. The institute notes that it has, from the historical times, concepts focused on both metallurgical and ceramic systems, improved properties etc. The effects of material science in determining the societal achievements are also indicated in such historical concepts like the Stone Age, Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The field of material science has greatly advanced. Today’s concepts like fabrication and characterization of tools have made it possible for the material scientists to observe and manipulate matter even to the atom level. Material science is today a very interdisciplinary field strongly connected to engineering, chemistry, physics and biology fields (CIT, 2012).
Hummel (2004) noted that metals had been useful to the material scientists from the early period of human civilization when materials such as bronze and iron were engineered into the states that could enable people to carry out various activities with ease. People, thus, manipulated the natural properties of these metals to help them determine the best ways in which they could be used. Today, material scientists deal with the fabrication of metals of high strength, which are free from any traditional limitations. For example, copper is today shaped into tiny wires, which are thousand times thinner than a strand of the human hair. Silicon has equally been modified by adding certain impurities to it to make it useful in electronic computer chip for the impurities enable it to conduct electricity (Hummel, 2004).
An example of a material engineered for a specific purpose is a synthetic rubber which is made by mixing the raw rubber with materials such as curatives, fillers, carbon black and extender oils. The resulting rubber is further formulated into basic rubber polymer which is in turn used in roofing materials and sealing components in the auto-industry (ACS, 2012).
In conclusion, the field of material science is still expected to experience much growth because it is part and parcel of the community.