Materials Science Engineering - how much does it have to do Chemistry?

<p>Again, general chemistry, as a subject, is not really a good indicator of engineering success in ANY field. Most if my all Gen Chem classes don't really test creative problem solving at all. It is more of an exercise in bookkeeping once you learn the concepts. Even chemical engineering and MatSE are as much (or nearly as much) based on physics as the are chemistry, and the chemistry involved in those two goes way beyond the basic stuff.</p>

<p>No matter how many times or ways you ask the question, the answer isn't going to change. AP Chemistry is not an effective indicator for how you will do as an engineers.</p>

<p>^ I was only looking for his opinion too, since he says that AP Physics is a good indicator. If MatSE and ChemE are based on both, and he says that even a high school physics course can be a good indicator, why can't that be true for chemistry? In my experience, there was a good amount of creative problem solving in chem. But whatever, I'll just see how I do next year in Physics.</p>

<p>Also, to what degree does nanotechnology have to do with MatSE? Rice University is said to be "well known for its applied science programs in nanotechnology" yet it's not ranked in the top 20 according to USNWR for MatSE.</p>

<p>Gen Chem classes don't really test creative problem solving at all.</p>

<p>AP Chem doesn't involve much intuitive thinking in solving out the problems, they're pretty straightforward. Problems aren't complicated & the ones that require multiple steps don't require many & are not hard to visualize what steps to take (probably because they all require the same exact steps, whereas in physics each problem requires a different approach). AP Phys C on the other hand does require more in depth thinking and visualization of what steps to take & proceed with - having to integrate equations within equations within equations and relating them all in really abstract ways to find the solution; being able to visualize the proper approach to take on tackling a problem before actually tackling the problem, as well as visualize what method would be the best approach if there are multiple possible approaches (and there usually are). Chemistry is not as complicated.</p>

<p>When you say "high school physics course," I'd like to clarify that NO high school academic physics course, IMO, is a good indicator. It must be a well-structured AP Physics C course - and not B.</p>

<p>Never read the thread before, only OP's first post - now I just read through it.</p>

<p>The ability to take the theory and skills you've learned in physics, chem and math and apply them to non-standard conditions<a href="something%20you've%20never%20seen%20before">/u</a> to solve a problem.</p>

<p>This is a good description. AP Chem, once you learn the problems, you essentially know all the problems. In engineering, you learn the concepts - not the problems - because each problem is different & requires a different approach, and AP Physics C is the closest you can get to this type of problem-solving.</p>

<p>^Ok, thank you. I will be taking a Physics B class next year because its all my school offers, but I will self study Physics C then. I heard you have to choose to do Mech/E&M, which one would be better for me?</p>

<p>Also, somebody please answer this:


</p>

<p>Nanotechnology is very interdisciplinary. There are people in MSE working on it, people in EE working on it, people in ChemE working on it, people in MechE working on it... all sorts of people really. It is one small part of all of those fields that makes up the whole science.</p>

<p>Also, since USNWR doesn't rank schools on their applied science programs in nanotechnology, why would you expect one single program to rocket Rice up to the top? By USNWR own way of thinking (which is admittedly flawed), Rice's strength in nanotechnology must not be enough to make up for what it perceives as other areas that aren't top 20 caliber. The real question here is: who cares? It is a great school and USNWR rankings do not dictate the quality of an education.</p>

<p>You will find that there is really no good indicator of high school success and college success. Most science schools require you take 4 units math 1 unit chem 1 unit physics etc... So you are pretty much in the same boat as everyone entering college. What makes engineering hard? Its because engineering is the application of science. You take what you learn from physics/math/chem and try to solve problems which are specifically constrained. Ill give an example.</p>

<p>--Typical high school chemistry problem (stoichiometry) </p>

<p>What is the total number of moles of H2SO4 needed to prepare 5.0 liters of a 2.0 M solution of H2SO4?</p>

<p>--Typical college general chemistry problem (acid-base equilibrium)</p>

<p>What is the hydronium ion concentration and pH of a 0.10 M solution of hypochlorous acid, Ka = 3.5 x 10-8?</p>

<p>--Typical INTRO chemE problem (mass balance)</p>

<p>A hot-air dryer is used to reduce the moisture content of 1500 kg/min of wet wood pulp from 0.75 kg H20/hg dry pulp to 0.15 wt% H20. Air is drawn from the atmosphere at 28 deg. C, 760 mmHg, and 50% relative humidity, sent through a blower-heater, and then fed to the dryer. The air leaves the dryer at 80 deg. C and 10 mm Hg (gauge). A sample of the exit air is drawn into a chamber containing a mirror and cooled slowly, keeping the guage pressure at 10 mm Hg. A mist is observed to form on the mirror at a temp of 40 deg. C. Calculate the mass of water removed from the pulp (Kg/min) and the volumetric flow rate of air entering the system (m^3/min).</p>

<p>As you can see, in engineering the depth of knowledge is far greater and you can't expect to plug and chug because every problem is different. What I've learned is that ChemE does not deal with chemistry all that much, if you want to be a chemistry buff chemE is not for you. Which is why I wanted to ask you if you are so interested in chemistry, why not major in chemistry?</p>

<p>^ actually, its MatSE I'm looking into, not ChemE. And its not that I don't want to major in chemistry, I first need to understand engineering better, because obviously, you can't do much specifically related to engineering in high school.</p>

<p>
[quote]
--Typical college general chemistry problem (acid-base equilibrium)</p>

<p>What is the hydronium ion concentration and pH of a 0.10 M solution of hypochlorous acid, Ka = 3.5 x 10-8?

[/quote]
College chem is that easy? That's just AP level.</p>

<p>
[quote]
A hot-air dryer is used to reduce the moisture content of 1500 kg/min of wet wood pulp from 0.75 kg H20/hg dry pulp to 0.15 wt% H20. Air is drawn from the atmosphere at 28 deg. C, 760 mmHg, and 50% relative humidity, sent through a blower-heater, and then fed to the dryer. The air leaves the dryer at 80 deg. C and 10 mm Hg (gauge). A sample of the exit air is drawn into a chamber containing a mirror and cooled slowly, keeping the guage pressure at 10 mm Hg. A mist is observed to form on the mirror at a temp of 40 deg. C. Calculate the mass of water removed from the pulp (Kg/min) and the volumetric flow rate of air entering the system (m^3/min).

[/quote]
Well I can't really tell how difficult this problem would be, since I don't know what kg/hg H20, wt%H20 or even relative humidity means.</p>

<p>Ripemango: You are not expected to know how to solve ChemE or MatSE or whatever engineering problems the second you walk into college. You are supposed to LEARN in college not come in knowing everything. If you have prepared as well as you can in high school then why are you worrying so much about whether you are cut out for it in college? You will not know until you try it out. So what really needs to be governing your decision making process is what do you think that you will really enjoy.</p>

<p>You completely missed Moodoys point. Completely. He is trying to point out to you the difference between high school science, intro college science, and engineering. The problems come at you in a different way requiring a different mindset. This would apply to Materials or any other discipline too. He just happened to use ChemE to explain the differences clearly.</p>

<p>ripemango, I figure if you have a strong, natural interest in the sciences and math and ability to think analytically you can succeed in any engineering major. It sounds as though you fit these criteria so stop bothering yourself about it and prepare yourself for the fact that, entering a undergrad engineering program, you have no idea what the hell you are getting yourself into like the rest of us did.</p>

<p>If think you'll like matse, then apply for the programs and go to the college orientations and you'll find out a lot more than asking a question on these boards. You can always change your major if you don't think you'll like it.</p>

<p>Also try Google.</p>