The Material World
Asking questions is a difficult task, and asking the right and
important question is a very good start in any study. Let us explore
the material world by coming up with some fundamental or basic questions.
For each question, many more related questions can be added, and answers to
them can be found either from literature search or further scientific
- What is every material around us?
- What is the relationship between the material and us?
- How do we study a particular material?
- What are the physical, chemical, biological and other properties?
- How should the material be handled (Material Safety Data Sheet)?
- What applications can be made of the material?
- What are the compositions of the material?
- What is the structure, and what are the structures of its components?
- How is the material made?
- How can the components of the material be synthesized?
- How can material be classified?
- How many basic materials are there in the world? (Chemical elements)
- What are the natural units of material? (atoms, molecules, ions, fundamental particles)
- How is the earth related to other planets, the sun, other stars and the galaxy?
- What materials are present on Earth?
- What is the abundance of each element, isotope, or nuclide? Why?
- What materials are present in other planets?
- What material is present in the Sun?
- How does material evolve in the Sun? (Sun's life).
- How stars form and evolve?
- What is the driving force for material to change?
- What will happen in the future?
- please add some more questions.
Chemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, fabricating, industrial product,
oil and gas, battery and fuel cells, mining, steel, and energy companies
all involved with materials.
I started to construct a page on
chemical industry some time ago, but my
attention has been diverted to other matters for a long time.
In any case, here are some of the industries that have been based
on the research and development of materials.
Corning owes its historical success and its continued leadership to shared
values, a core competence in science and technology, and an unending spirit
of innovation in all aspects of our corporate life.
Corning Incorporated creates leading-edge technologies for fast-growing
segments of the world's economy. Corning is a premier provider of optical
fiber, cable, and photonic products for the telecommunications industry;
high-performance glass for computers, television screens, and other
information display applications; advanced optical materials for the
semiconductor industry and the scientific community; ceramic substrates for
the automotive industry; specialized polymer products for biotechnology
applications; and other advanced materials and technologies.
Photonics is a term which refers to the technologies, techniques, devices,
instruments and systems that generate, modify or utilize electromagnetic
energy in the wavelength range from x-ray to far infrared.
Corning is speciallized in this area.
Owens Corning, the company that invented glass fiber, boasts a fascinating
history of innovation and entrepreneurship. This legacy has continued as
the company grew into the world leader in advanced glass and building
material systems, and expands globally through today's competitive,
How does Owens Corning make glass fiber? How did they turn it into a
global industry? What else do they do?
Find out more from the company's Internet site please.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
an international supplier of industrial gases and related equipment
and specialty and intermediate chemicals.
Chevron Corporation, one of the world's largest integrated petroleum
companies, is involved in every aspect of the industry, from exploration and
production to transportation, refining and retail marketing, as well as
chemicals manufacturing and sales. It is active in more than 100 countries
and employs about 31,000 people worldwide.
is a science company, delivering science-based solutions that make a
difference in people's lives in food and nutrition; health care; apparel;
home and construction; electronics; and transportation. Founded in 1802,
the company operates in 70 countries and has 94,000 employees.
DuPont's science roots trace back to 18th century France in
the person of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier , often called the
"father of modern chemistry." Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, one
of Lavoisier's students and proteges, founded the DuPont
Company in 1802 based on Lavoisier's technology for the
manufacture of black gunpowder.
The technology base of the company was broadened in the
late 1800s with the introduction of nitroglycerine and
nitrocellulose. The chemistry and engineering capabilities
required for manufacturing these products became the basis
of the major 20th century expansion of the company. The strong acids and
associated chemicals such as diphenylamine, a stabilizer, led to development of
many associated chemicals. A broad range of cellulose-based products resulted in
involvement in plastics, fibers, films, and finishes--markets still important today.
Imperial Chemical Industries
The ICI Group is one of the world's largest producers of
specialty products and paints. It succeeds and grows through
a deep understanding of consumer needs and by meeting
those needs with creative ideas and innovative products.
The Merck Group conducts its internationally oriented business in the three business sectors of
Pharmaceuticals, Laboratory, and Specialty Chemicals.
The E. Merck company was founded in 1827. The pharmacist Heinrich Emanuel Merck (1794 -
1855), with his entrepreneurial spirit and enquiring mind, used every opportunity offered by the
growing medical demand for the newly discovered group of special plant substances called
alkaloids. Since that time Merck has carried out scientific work in many fields which serves as a
basis for the development of new products or groups of products.
Proctor and Gamble
Monsanto Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmacia, is a leading
provider of agricultural solutions to growers worldwide. Monsanto's
employees provide top-quality, cost-effective and integrated approaches to
help farmers improve their productivity and produce better quality foods.
Shatterproof plastic bottles, antifreeze, medicine, plastic bags, crayons, cosmetics
and personal care products -- and so many other conveniences we enjoy -- require
the chemicals produced by the men and women of Union Carbide. At Union Carbide
great chemistry is chemistry that works to improve the quality of our lives.
Some or all of the following activities may be used during lectures.
Invite students to add questions.
Invite a student to describe a material within our reach. The description
should point out the location of the material, the name, the composition,
the chemical formula if applicable, the nature, the beneficial, and
the harmful effects.
A Game: Select a game leader and then divide a class into (say two or three)
small groups. The leader secretly has a substance in mind for the groups to
guess. While guessing, the groups take turns to get hint by asking the leader
questions. The leader will answer "Yes", "No", or "No comment" to each question.
The group getting a "Yes" answer can continue questioning until the answer
is not a "Yes". The group guessed the substance wins the game.