3.012 Fundamentals of Materials Science

Fall 2005

Diagram of two crystal structures.
Charge density in paraelectric and ferroelectric PbTiO3. See lecture notes for Lec #16, Structure and Bonding. (Figure by Prof. Nicola Marzari.)

Course Highlights

This course features complete lecture notes, assignments, and exams.

Course Description

This course focuses on the fundamentals of structure, energetics, and bonding that underpin materials science. It is the introductory lecture class for sophomore students in Materials Science and Engineering, taken with 3.014 and 3.016 to create a unified introduction to the subject. Topics include: an introduction to thermodynamic functions and laws governing equilibrium properties, relating macroscopic behavior to atomistic and molecular models of materials; the role of electronic bonding in determining the energy, structure, and stability of materials; quantum mechanical descriptions of interacting electrons and atoms; materials phenomena, such as heat capacities, phase transformations, and multiphase equilibria to chemical reactions and magnetism; symmetry properties of molecules and solids; structure of complex, disordered, and amorphous materials; tensors and constraints on physical properties imposed by symmetry; and determination of structure through diffraction. Real-world applications include engineered alloys, electronic and magnetic materials, ionic and network solids, polymers, and biomaterials.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .cif, .mov, and .zip.

Donate Now


Prof. Darrell Irvine
Prof. Nicola Marzari

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
2 hours / session

Two sessions / week
1 hour / session



Archived Courses

Previous version