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Materials are everywhere in our daily life. You can see, feel and even smell or hear them. Their presence and influence is more important than most people can imagine.

On this webpage no scientific analysis or commercial talk, just some nice things to know about materials.

  • Do you know the famous ‘Atomium' in Brussels? Do you know what the atomium symbolizes? The answer: an iron crystal, building stone of cast iron and steel. An iron crystal contains 9 iron atoms in a specific lattice structure: they form a cube with one atom on each angle point of the cube and one atom in the centre of the cube.
  • A music instrument contains wonderful materials. Together with the instrument's size and shape they play an important role in the sound the instrument will produce, but it's only thanks to the musician that its sounds will be transferred to our ears.

  • Mobile phone or iPod, small jewels in our modern society. Do you know that many materials scientists did loose liters of blood, sweat and tears in order to get them so small and that they will spend more energy in order to get them even smaller?

  • Till today the hardest natural material known is diamond. On the other hand, graphite - the small grayish bar in your pencil - is soft as butter. It is difficult to believe, but diamond and graphite are both constituted of only carbon atoms. The difference? The way the carbon atoms are stacked up.

  • Frank De Winne performs materials tests in space: Frank De Winne, the European astronaut that is living in the international space station ISS, performs materials tests in the European space lab. Visit 'Materials Science in Space', explaining why and how materials testing in space can be useful to our life on earth.