Published on Tuesday July 24, 2007
Dr. Roger Doherty, A.W. Grosvenor Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, has published a paper in Science that recalls the work of Robert W. Cahn and David Turnbull, two metallurgists who transformed the field of metallurgy into the materials science that we know today. In the paper, published in the July 6, 2007 issue of Science, Doherty paints a portrait of the two men, whose varied backgrounds ultimately came together to help create what is today's modern materials science.
Among Robert Cahn's contributions to the field include his studies of the dislocation theory (a theory that scientifically addressed what controls the properties of metal alloys), his finding of a successful model for the nucleation of new crystals formed during recrystallization, and the crystallography of uranium.
David Turnbull made several major contributions to materials science as well, including the ability to quantitatively understand the nucleation of structural transformations, and research on solid-state diffusion and the structure of liquids.
Together, the two scientists laid the groundwork for today's materials science, which centers around the modification and improvement of properties to make better materials.