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Fundamentals of Materials Science

Shanghai Jiao Tong University via Coursera


Materials are the physical foundations for the development of science and technology. The human civilizations are historically designated by the evolution of materials, such as the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Nowadays, materials science and technology support most of the industrial sectors, including aerospace, telecommunications, transportation, architecture, infrastructure and so on. Fundamentals of Materials Science is a core module for undergraduates majored in materials science and engineering. This English course will be taught by Prof. Guo Qiang, Prof. Reddy and Prof. Liu Jing from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. An integrated approach of combining metallic, ceramic and polymeric materials will be adopted in this course, for the attendants to attain a deep understanding on the correlation of composition, microstructure, processing and properties in materials science. Let’s gather in this course and explore the wonderland of materials together.


  • Week 1
    • In week 1, you will get a brief introduction to materials science, as well as part 1 of module 1 including atomic bonding in solids, crystal lattices, and crystal structures of metals.
  • Week 2
    • In week 2, we will continue with part 2 of module 1 including crystallographic points, directions & planes, the crystal structure of ceramics, polymorphism & allotropy, the structure of polymers, and round up with the characterization of crystal structures.
  • Week 3
    • In week 3, we will start with part 1 of module 2 including the equilibrium concentration of point defects, point defects in ionic solids, the concept of dislocations, and their geometry.
  • Week 4
    • In week 4, we will finish module 2 including dislocations in real crystals, their motion, elastic properties, forces, and finally surfaces & interfaces.
  • Week 5
    • In week 5, we will start with part 1 of module 3 including stress-strain curves, elastic & viscoelastic properties, slip mechanism, and twinning & kinking.
  • Week 6
    • In week 6, we will continue with part 2 of module 3 including grain refinement, solid solution strengthening, second phase & work hardening, and property evolution.
  • Week 7
    • In week 7, we will finish module 3 including all about the mechanical properties of ceramics, polymers, and composites.
  • Week 8
    • In week 8, we will introduce you in module 4 to the concepts of the kinetics of recovery and recrystallization, grain growth after recrystallization, and finally dynamic recovery and dynamic recrystallization.
  • Week 9
    • In week 9, we will introduce you to part 1 of module 5 including the diffusion phenomena, Fick's law, solutions to diffusion functions, and Kirkendall & Darken.
  • Week 10
    • In week 10, we will finish module 5 including the thermodynamics of diffusion, atomic mechanisms of diffusion, and factors that affect diffusion.
  • Week 11
    • In week 11, we will introduce part 1 of module 6 including the basics and thermodynamics of phase diagrams, as well as the effect of pressure on free energy, and free energy of binary systems.
  • Week 12
    • In week 12, we will continue with part 2 of module 6 including the graphic construction of phase diagrams, Gibbs phase rule. and the evolution of different phase diagrams.
  • Week 13
    • In week 13, we will continue with part 3 of module 6 including the spinodal decomposition, the lever rule, binary phase diagrams, and we will talk about the differences of steels and cast irons with the iron-carbon phase diagram.
  • Week 14
    • In week 14, we will finish module 6 including the continue of our talk about the differences of steels and cast irons with the iron-carbon phase diagram, and we will talk about ternary phase diagrams.
  • Week 15
    • In week 15, we will introduce part 1 of module 7 including the basics of phase transformations and solidification, nucleation, heterogeneous vs homogenous nucleation, and the temperature time transformation.
  • Week 16
    • In week 16, we will finish module 6 introducting phase transformations in steels and alloy steels, precipitation, and precipitation in Al alloys.

Taught by

Kolan M. Reddy, Liu Jing and Qiang Guo

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