Structure—or the arrangement of materials’ internal components—determines virtually everything about a material: its properties, its potential applications, and its performance within those applications. This three-part course explores the structure of a wide variety of materials with current-day engineering applications. Taken together, the three modules provide similar content to MIT’s sophomore-level materials structure curriculum.
Part 1 of the course introduces amorphous materials and explores glasses and polymers, the factors that influence their structure, and how materials scientists measure and describe the structure of these materials. Then we discuss what it means for a material to be crystalline, how we describe periodic arrangement of atoms in a crystal, and how we can determine the structure of crystals through x-ray diffraction. Parts 2 and 3 explore the structure of materials in further depth.