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December 29, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


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.

This course is a core subject in MIT’s undergraduate Energy Studies Minor. This Institute-wide program complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges.

Course Curriculum

  • Classical or Quantum: Electrons as Waves, Wave Mechanics Unlimited
  • Schrödinger’s Equation and Discrete Energy States of a Confined Electron Unlimited
  • Free Electrons, Electrons in a Metal, and the Scanning Tunneling Microscope Unlimited
  • Curiosity Killed the Cat: General Principles of Quantum Mechanics Unlimited
  • The Hydrogen Atom Unlimited
  • The Hydrogen Atom (cont.) Unlimited
  • Alphabet Soup: The Periodic Table Unlimited
  • The Periodic Table (cont.) Unlimited
  • The Variational Principle; Application to Hydrogen Atom Unlimited
  • Molecules from Atoms: Energy Minimization, Hybridization of Atomic Orbitals Unlimited
  • Bonding in Molecules: Hartree and Hartree-Fock Equations, Symmetries, Bond Order Unlimited
  • Polymers Part 1: Diagonalization on a Basis, Huckel Model Unlimited
  • Quantum Oscillation Unlimited
  • Point Groups and Bravais Lattices Unlimited
  • Symmetry Operations Unlimited
  • Structure of Solids Unlimited
  • X-ray Diffraction Unlimited
  • X-rays at Work: Laue Condition, Ewald Construction, Bragg’s Law, Powder Diffraction Unlimited
  • From Diffraction to Structure Unlimited
  • Symmetries and Tensors Unlimited
  • Non-crystalline Materials Unlimited
  • Polymers Part 2 Unlimited
  • Glasses Unlimited
  • Liquid Crystals Unlimited

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology