About this course: Have you ever wondered why ceramics are hard and brittle while metals tend to be ductile? Why some materials conduct heat or electricity while others are insulators? Why adding just a small amount of carbon to iron results in an alloy that is so much stronger than the base metal? In this course, you will learn how a material’s properties are determined by the microstructure of the material, which is in turn determined by composition and the processing that the material has undergone. This is the first of three Coursera courses that mirror the Introduction to Materials Science class that is taken by most engineering undergrads at Georgia Tech. The aim of the course is to help students better understand the engineering materials that are used in the world around them. This first section covers the fundamentals of materials science including atomic structure and bonding, crystal structure, atomic and microscopic defects, and noncrystalline materials such as glasses, rubbers, and polymers.