The interdisciplinary field of materials science
, also commonly known as materials science and engineering
, involves the discovery and design of new materials, with an emphasis on solids
. The intellectual origins of materials science stem from the Enlightenment
, when researchers began to use analytical thinking from chemistry
, and engineering
to understand ancient, phenomenological observations in metallurgy
. Materials science still incorporates elements of physics, chemistry, and engineering. As such, the field was long thought of as a sub-field of these related fields. In recent years, materials science has become more widely recognized as a specific and distinct field of science and engineering. Many of the most pressing scientific problems humans currently face are due to the limitations of the materials that are available and, as a result, breakthroughs in materials science are likely to have a significant impact on the future of technology.