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Introduction to the Sciences Essay

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The statement that; “Computers are part of our everyday lives.” Is so correct, I don’t think the people of today would know how to do anything without the computer. Between the desktop top computers and laptops to the smart phone everything can be stored using less space and the ability to locate stuff so much more easier that if the world of today lost computers around the world for even just an hour would put this world in an uproar.

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There are three essential properties of every material that scientists use as a premise for almost every study. The kind of atoms is the first one that the material is made up of. You will have your neutral elements and your compound elements. The neutral elements have the same amount of protons and electrons, which basically cancel each other out leaving them neutral. The compound element deals with combining more than one element. In the way those atoms are arrange is the second one.

The best example of this is by comparing the atoms of liquid and the atoms of solids. For example the atoms of liquids move around much more freely than the atoms of solids which are packed together. The third one is the way the atoms are bonded together. There are also four key properties one must understand when studying a material. The first is strength which has the ability of a solid to resist changes in shape. The strength of the material, which means it must be able to withstand the forces being applied to it without breaking, is the first. There are three distinguished different kinds of strength that scientists and engineers recognize. One is the ability to withstand crushing, another is its ability to withstand pulling apart and the last one is its ability to withstand shearing. The most critical key property to us is those that control the flow electricity. An electrical conductor is capable of carrying an electrical current.

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Which means electrons can flow freely. However, there are also other materials that can also conduct electricity, like saltwater that contains ions of sodium and chlorine, which also freely move if they become of an electric current. Electrical insulators are a material that will not conduct electricity unless they come into contact with an extremely high voltage that can pull the electrons loose. Semiconductors and Superconductors are the third properties. Semiconductors are neither good conductor nor are they a perfect insulator. But, they are the most important components of our electronic age. A superconductor is a property that exhibits materials that when cooled within a few degrees of absolute zero. The last one is the magnetic properties of materials. Even though we may not pay much attention to magnets they are a part of our daily lives. Magnets are in most of our electric motors or our stereo speakers and many other things we use on a daily bases.

Now before we look at microchips and the information revolution, we must learn about doped semiconductors. Doping is intentionally introduces impurities into a pure semiconductor. There are two really important consequences with doping semiconductors the first being, is there are conductions electron in the material and the second one being phosphorus ion that has been left behind has a positive charge. A u-type semiconductor is a semiconductor doped with phosphorus because a moving charge is a negative charge. A p-type semiconductor is when silicon can be doped with an element like aluminum. When the aluminum is dope into a crystal structure there is one less valence electron. This missing electron creates a material tat can easily carry an electrical current.

Once it starts moving around the aluminum atom has now acquired an extra electron which has a negative charge. When placing a u-type semiconductor against a p-type semiconductor negative charge electrons will diffuse from the u–type to the p-type whereas positive charged holes will diffuse the opposite way, p-type to u-type. A semiconductor like this is known as a diode. Once constructed a permanent electrical field pushes electrons across the boundary from u-type to the p-type. As the electrons flow in the diode the current flows normally. However, when it is reversed the electrons are blocked by the built in electrical field. This makes the diode allow a one way passage to allow the electrical current in only direction. By the use of a device called photovoltaic cell the semiconducting diodes play a very important role in the future of the U.S. It is nothing more than a thin layer of u –type material bonded to thicker layer of p-type material.

The photovoltaic cells are in hand calculators, cameras and televisions. A transistor is a device that s based on our entire information age. It is just like a sandwich. One would have a u-type, p-type, u-type and another would be a p-type, u-type, p-type. Both transistors control the flow of electrons. Even though diodes and transistors still have a role in modern electronic they have mostly be replaced by much more complex arrays of p and u type semiconductors called microchips. The first transistors built where about the size of a golf ball but now days they can be as small as a grain of rice. Microchips incorporate hundreds to thousands of transistors in one intergrated circuit that is designed to perform a specific function.

Computer science is a branch o f science that’s main goal is to create intelligence in machines and robots. It is known as artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is the study of man-made computational devices and systems which can be made to act in a manner which we would be inclined to call intelligent. Artificial intelligence research is highly technical, it is deeply divided into subfields that do fail to communicate with each other.

The differences between the computer brain and the human brain is that the human brain is composed of soft organic tissue made mostly of fat. The computer brain, however, is composed of hard, inorganic materials made mostly of silicon and copper. Another difference between the two brains is that the human brain’s software-the mind-exists only metaphysically and the computer’s brain knows only what it was programmed to know, well at least so far anyways.


The Sciences: An Integrated Approach Edition 7 Chapter 11 Materials and Their Properties http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence

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