Be Particular about Your Spoon before Meal - Materials in Our Daily Life and their Properties -

Dr Hiroshi Utsunomiya

Sunday, 23 June, 2002; 7:30-9:00pm

Chetwynd Room, King's College

Even after the Stone, the Bronze and the Iron Ages, our daily life have been highly dependent on using materials. For instance, noble metals such as gold and silver have been used as currencies due to their limited amounts and rust-free natures. The Japanese express 'money' as 'Kane'(=gold) and the British call their currency "Sterling" (=silver) after their standard system. The modern steel making technology invented by the Darby Family in 18th century (See http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/) was a key technology to accelerate the industrial revolution and a reason of current prosperity. We can see similar influences even in these days. Recently developed advanced materials enabled an emergence of mobile phones and so changed our daily life rapidly. In a mobile phone, 'Liquid crystal' display, 'Lithium ion/polymer' rechargeable battery, 'Power FET' transmission semiconductor device, 'Rare-earth magnet' vibrators, 'Super-elastic' antenna and 'Magnesium light alloy' casing, etc are used together. Many advanced countries now competitively invest materials research, including nano-technology, so our life will be changed further in future. In this forum, the speaker mainly discusses common materials rather than the above mentioned-advanced materials, because background knowledge is not required. Either consciously or unconsciously, we select and use materials in our daily life. For instance in cooking, Aluminium pan is used for Tamago-yaki (Japanese omelette), while Iron pan is used for Chinese fried meals. Copper pan may be used for Cheese fondu. Do you have any reasons to choose them? Is it just custom or empirical rule? How about to be particular about your spoons? Don1t you think it might make your meal more delicious if it is selected in a right way? What the speaker is going to talk is a brief introduction of common materials and their properties. Some demonstrations will be given so that even unfamiliar audience can understand clearly. Their history, manufacturing methods, annual production amount and applications will be also analyzed. At the end of the forum, the current undertaking researches (mainly on speaker's) will be presented and the resultant future life will be discussed.