PHYS 234
Introduction to Materials Science Spring 2025
Division III Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
Cross-listed GEOS 234

Class Details

Materials Science is the study of how the microscopic structure of materials–whether steel, carbon fiber, glass, wood, plastic, or mayonnaise–determines their macroscopic mechanical, thermal, electric, and other properties. Topics of this course include classifying materials; material structure; thermodynamics and phase transformations; material properties and testing; how solids bend, flow, and ultimately break; and how to choose the right material for design applications. Materials Science is a highly interdisciplinary field and as a result the course prerequisites are broad but also flexible. Interested students who are unsure about their preparation are strongly encouraged to contact the instructor.
The Class: Format: lecture; lecture (3 hours per week) plus three to four small-group laboratory sessions throughout the semester (to be scheduled with instructor)
Limit: 20
Expected: 10
Class#: 3583
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly problem sets, class participation, and midterm and final exams, all of which have a substantial quantitative component
Prerequisites: high school physics and chemistry, preferably at the AP level, and MATH 140 or AP Calculus (BC), and one 200-level PHYS, CHEM, or GEOS course; or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: based on students' scientific background and seniority
Unit Notes: This course does not count toward the Geosciences major.
Distributions: Division III Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PHYS 234 Division III GEOS 234 Division III
QFR Notes: Weekly problem sets and exams all have a substantial quantitative component.
Attributes: MTSC Courses

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