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By Adam Smith

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From the perspective of today, the 37 years, to date, of MRLs can be considered an undiluted good. 4 Precursors, definitions and terminology This book is primarily directed at professional materials scientists and engineers, and they have no urgent need to see themselves defined. Indeed, it would be perfectly reasonable to say about materials science what Aaron Katchalsky used to say about his new discipline, biophysics: "Biophysics is like my wife. I know her, but I cannot define her" (Markl 1998).

The other difficulty is more specific: a new discipline may either be a highly specific breakaway from an established broad field, or it may on the contrary represent a broad synthesis from a number of older, narrower fields: the splitting of physical chemistry away from synthetic organic chemistry in the nineteenth century is an instance of the former, the emergence of materials science as a kind of synthesis from metallurgy, solid-state physics and physical chemistry exemplifies the latter. For brevity, we might name these two alternatives emergence by splitting and emergence by integration.

L. (1987) Annu. Rev. Mater. Sci. 17, 1. G. M. " A Report to the Committee on Science and Astronautics, US House of Representatives, by the National Academy of Sciences (US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC) p. 297. Turnbull, D. (1980) in Laser and Electron Beam Processing of Materials, ed. W. S. (Academic Press, New York) p. 1. Turnbull, D. (1983) Annu. Rev. Mater. Sci. 13, 1. Turnbull, D. (1986) Autobiography, unpublished typescript. H. L. " Principles and Practice (Wiley, Chichester, UK).

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