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interplay between and interdependence of science and technology. Perhaps in no other area are advances in technology more closely linked to advances in understanding.
This chapter is not intended to be comprehensive; rather, it seeks to illustrate the pivotal role of condensed-matter and materials research in providing the understanding required to develop enabling technologies. At the same time, the development of these new technologies has greatly expanded the tools and capabilities available to scientists and engineers in all areas of research and development, ranging from basic research in physics and materials to other areas of physics and to such diverse fields as medicine and biotechnology. The examples discussed also make evident the importance of long-term, sustained research in realizing the benefits to society of improved scientific understanding of materials (see Figure 1.1).
Incorporation of major scientific and technological advances into new
products can take decades and often follows unpredictable paths.
Illustrated here are some selected technologies supported by the
foundations of electronic, photonic, and magnetic phenomena and
materials. These technologies have enabled breakthroughs in
virtually every sector of the economy. The two-way interplay
between foundations and technology is a major driving force in
this field. The most recent fundamental advances and technological
discoveries have yet to realize their potential.