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Materials Through the Ages

Thursday, January 31, 2019 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM


St. Louis County Library – Oak Bend Branch
842 S Holmes Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63122 United States + Google Map

FREE and OPEN to ALL. Junior Academy members, middle and high school students welcome and encouraged to attend. Space is limited. Registration required. Register below!

Featured Speaker: Kenneth F. Kelton, Ph.D., Arthur Holly Compton Professor in Arts & Sciences, Department of Physics, Washington University in St. Louis

When we think of glasses we generally conjure up images of windows or vases, although glasses are far more common than these examples. Hard candy, the packing peanuts from your online delivery, the dust from the Cheetos that turned your fingers orange at lunch, and even the heads of some metallic golf clubs are also glasses. The development of new materials has always gone hand-in-hand with advances in civilization. Glasses are only one example of the materials that are critical to our technological society. Throughout most of civilization, metals and glasses predominated, but more recently plastics and semiconductors have taken on significant roles. Over thousands of years, through trial and error, humankind learned how to produce superior materials using different types of processing. In the 20th century it became possible to begin to explain the underlying scientific reasons.

Against this historical background, physics professor Ken Kelton shares some of the techniques used to tailor metals and glasses for specific applications; and he discusses recent discoveries on how the structure of liquids can play a significant role in preparing these materials. He touches briefly on the modern instrumentation that makes these studies possible and advanced techniques being explored for producing additive materials of the future, some of which NASA has its eye on for long duration spaceflights.

Materials Through the Ages is a Science in St. Louis Series partnership of the The Academy of Science – St. Louis and St. Louis County Libraries.

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Thursday, January 31, 2019
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Event Category:


St. Louis County Library – Oak Bend Branch
842 S Holmes Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63122 United States
+ Google Map