Properties of materials

“I shall now proceed to treat, in an intelligible manner, of the materials which are appropriate for building, how they are formed by nature, and of the analysis of their component parts. For there is no material nor body of any sort whatever which is not composed of various elementary particles; and if their primary composition be not duly understood, no law of physics will explain their nature to our satisfaction.”

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, De Architectura, Book II, Chapter 1

It is necessary to understand something of the physics, structural performance and indeed the chemistry of materials in order to understand how they work. This is not a scientific text book so we touch lightly on these subjects, but they are fundamental. ...

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