© 2018

Fifty Materials That Make the World


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Ian Baker
    Pages 1-3
  3. Ian Baker
    Pages 5-9
  4. Ian Baker
    Pages 11-13
  5. Ian Baker
    Pages 15-17
  6. Ian Baker
    Pages 19-22
  7. Ian Baker
    Pages 23-27
  8. Ian Baker
    Pages 29-34
  9. Ian Baker
    Pages 35-42
  10. Ian Baker
    Pages 43-47
  11. Ian Baker
    Pages 49-53
  12. Ian Baker
    Pages 55-58
  13. Ian Baker
    Pages 59-62
  14. Ian Baker
    Pages 63-69
  15. Ian Baker
    Pages 71-74
  16. Ian Baker
    Pages 75-79
  17. Ian Baker
    Pages 81-87
  18. Ian Baker
    Pages 89-91
  19. Ian Baker
    Pages 93-100
  20. Ian Baker
    Pages 101-104

About this book


This book introduces materials and how advances in materials result in advances in technology and our daily lives. Each chapter covers a particular material, how the material was discovered or invented, when it was first used, how this material has impacted the world, what makes the material important, how it is used today, and future applications. The list of materials covered in this book includes stone, wood, natural fibers, metals, clay, lead, iron, steel, silicon, glass, rubber, composites, polyethylene, rare earth magnet, and alloys.  


Characterization of Materials Engineering Applications of Natural Phenomena Engineering Potential of Natural Materials Man-made Materials Materials Engineering Materials applications Micro-tribology Nanotribology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

About the authors

Ian Baker is a Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College. His research interests include mechanical behavior of metallic alloys, magnetic materials, ice and snow, phase transformations, electron microscopy, and x-ray techniques.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Materials & Steel
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


“This fascinating and useful book, aimed at a wide readership, adopts the point of view that human civilization has been materials-based throughout its history. … Readers with a basic (high school level) understanding of chemistry or physics can easily grasp the material. … the selection of 50 solid materials is quite thorough; readers will be hard pressed to name solid materials important to human history that were omitted. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels.” (J. Lambropoulos, Choice, Vol. 56 (5), January, 2019)