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    Silicon

    Silicon by Ondřej Mangl

    Graphene

    Graphene by AlexanderAlUS

Materials are the substances from which things are made. So, materials are pretty important. In fact, materials have been so important to humans in the past that we have named periods of history after them: like the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Stone Age.

What do you think historians will call our period of history in the future?

Material scientists research and develop materials, to make the materials we use at the moment better and to make new amazing materials as well! You will be very used to having some materials, such as wood and plastic around.

Some materials, like silicon, we use all the time without thinking about it. A tiny silicon chip is at the heart of the computer you’re on now, or your mobile phone. Silicon is mixed with other elements like carbon and hydrogden to make non stick materials used in baking and waterproof sealants.

And some of the new materials that scientists are creating are just plain weird. Take Graphene, for example. This material is so strong that a sheet as thin as cling-film could support an elephant! Some new materials are even based on those already found in nature, such as sharkskin.

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