The Coming of Advanced Materials: A Personal View of the Contributions by Cambridge Scientists

Authors

  • John Meurig Thomas

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy University of Cambridge Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ (UK)
    • Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy University of Cambridge Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ (UK)
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  • Dedicated to the memory of Robert Wolfgang Cahn

Abstract

The highly significant contributions both directly and indirectly made to the study of condensed matter in general and to advanced materials in particular by a succession of Cambridge scientists over the early years of the past half century are adumbrated in the light of the conjunction of the 21st anniversary of the founding of this journal and the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge. So also are the reasons for the burgeoning growth in the last few decades of the preparation, characterization, and use of various kinds of advanced materials. A summary is also given of the author's own work in solid-state and materials science, including a brief appraisal of recent strategies for the design of advanced catalysts for the production (under environmentally benign conditions) of a number of industrially important chemicals ranging from vitamins to commodities, such as adipic acid and terephthalic acid, and building blocks, such as styrene oxide, that are utilized in the manufacture of cosmetics and perfumes.

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