Manufacturing processes have been changed by improved tools and techniques based on more thorough scientific understanding, increases in the forces that can be applied and the temperatures that can be reached, and the availability of electronic controls that make operations occur more rapidly and consistently.
Learning Goal 2
Waste management includes considerations of quantity, safety, degradability, and cost. It requires social and technological innovations, because waste-disposal problems are political and economic as well as technical.
Learning Goal 4
Increased knowledge of the properties of particular molecular structures helps in the design and synthesis of new materials for special purposes.
Learning Goal 5
Objects made up of a small number of atoms may exhibit different properties than macroscopic objects made up of the same kinds of atoms.
Learning Goal 6
Groups of atoms and molecules can form structures that can be measured in billionths of a meter. The properties of structures at this scale (known as the nanoscale) and materials composed of such structures, can be very different than the properties at the macroscopic scale because of the increase in the ratio of surface area to volume and changes in the relative strengths of different forces at different scales. Increased knowledge of the properties of materials at the nanoscale provides a basis for the development of new materials and new uses of existing materials.
Learning Goal 7
The development of new materials and the increased use of existing materials by a growing human population have led to the removal of resources from the environment much more rapidly than they can be replaced by natural processes. Disposal of waste materials has also become a problem. Solving these problems requires systematic efforts involving both social and technological innovations.