The study of how the properties of matter arise from its structure at all scales and of how processing can be used to modify those properties (often in pursuit of a specific application).

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8
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1answer
81 views

Why does paper explode when compressed?

Various videos online show paper/card suddenly releasing energy in an explosion like way and transforming into a brittle material when put under sufficient pressure from presses. Examples are shown ...
8
votes
1answer
266 views

What happened to this folded paper in a hydraulic press?

The video below apparently shows a man folding an A3 size piece of paper 7 times, putting it under the hydraulic press each time. After 7 folds, on the last press, the paper sort of explodes. What's ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Gas permeation through solid metal?

if i make a box from aluminum ( 0,5 mm thickness ) and put air in it ( about 2 bar or 3 bar). would the box lose the air over time (10 years period) or not ? assuming the temperature will change ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Energy conservation of permanent magnets engine

How to explain the fact that magnet can attract an object (apply a work W) without losing a (significant) part of its internal energy? How to apply the energy conservation principle? Please think to ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Metal surface density increase [closed]

Can you increase the density of a material surface (metal) by surface treatment? For example commercial copper. If we take the ordinary OF copper (99.95%), I would expect not to have the tabulated ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Effectiveness of phase-change materials vs water for heat storage?

I'm trying to understand the benefit of specialized phase-change materials vs. water for absorbing heat in a home during the day. It's my understanding that selecting phase-change materials whose ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

High surface area for given volume [on hold]

What can be a example similar to mathematical Koch flake that could be found in nature... where for a given enclosed volume its surface area is indefinitely large?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Poisson's ratio and change in volume

The Poisson's ratio $\nu$ is always less than $0.5$. A traction force ($\Delta L >0$) can cause an increase in volume, while a compression force ($\Delta L <0$) can only decrease the volume. ...
-1
votes
0answers
25 views

Determine the shear in dislocation [closed]

I don't know how to solve this kind of problem: Given a crystal and its volume V. This Crystal is subjected to a shear stress making a slip plane (h k l ) in a slip direction [h k l]. Given also the ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Optical Retroreflectors: How Are the Faces So Accurately Righted?

This question is about Optical Retroreflectors (corner cubes) and how the extreme precision in their manufacturing is achieved. I suspect there is interesting basic physics involved, which is why the ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

What is the physical significance of the Curie constant?

What is the physical significance of the Curie constant? I understand it depends on the effective moment of the ion and hence must be some measure of it, but what is it exactly? Like some average ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Determining a constant from two equations [closed]

I am an engineering undergraduate taking a materials science module and i am having some trouble with the mathematical execution of the following question: Determine the constant in the equation for ...
0
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2answers
21 views

P-n junction diode under forward bias configuration

Why there is exponential growth in current with respect to voltage in p-n junction diode under forward bias configuration?
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Is diamagnetism a static or dynamic effect?

When we put a diamagnetic material in the presence of an external magnetic field $\vec B_0$, the magnetic field inside the material decreases to $$\vec B=(1+\chi_m)\vec B_0,$$ where the magnetic ...
2
votes
4answers
941 views

Glass pipe cutting

I want to know how to quickly create the straightest possible breaks in glass pipes I apologise if this is only borderline suitable for a physics forum - I just hope experts with a lot of experience ...
3
votes
2answers
35 views

Why chromium is more brittle than iron at room temperature?

Why is chromium more brittle than iron? I understand that both of them are BCC at room temperature. Is it to do with the grain size, and why is it different between the two metals?
4
votes
2answers
261 views

Is it possible for an object to have low specific heat capacity and low thermal conductivity?

As I see, there are many examples of object with low specific heat capacity and high thermal conductivity and vice versa. Since they are different properties of matter and their definitions are not ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

$16~\rm N/mm^2$ flexural strength

This question more relates to construction and architecture but I am sure it will not be the problem to ask and get a good answer here. If we have declared flexural strength of concrete of 16 N/mm2, ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

What is blocking the magnetic field of this neodymium magnet?

I opened up my hard drive and pulled out (among other things) the top and bottom braces for the reading arm. Each bracket contains a really powerful neodymium affixed to its underside. When the ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is paper more frangible when it is wet?

My four-year-old daughter asked me why paper tends to fall apart when wet, and I wasn't sure. I speculated that the water lubricates the paper fibers so that they can untangle and separate more ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

Breaking strength of wet paper/cloth

In the Hollywood movie, Shanghai Knights (pardon me for the non scientific citation), Jackie Chan states that 'wet cloth' does not break easily. How true a fact is this ? We know from common ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Why a bullet leaves a hole on glass where stone makes scratch?

When we throw a stone it breaks the glass with scratches. But when a bullet hits the glass it leaves a small hole(not always) . I want to know the specific reason behind making hole and scratch.
0
votes
2answers
535 views

does the thickness of a rubber sheet affect the tensile strength?

i'm really confused which thickness of rubber sheet i should choose. Does the thickness affect the tensile strength and elongation in any way? is there any relation between them? i would really ...
0
votes
1answer
307 views

Fundamental frequency of a material and its Young's modulus

I wonder if there is a connection between fundamental frequency and Young's modulus of a material. For example, how to calculate the Young's modulus of a glass bar by knowing its frequency spectrum?
5
votes
1answer
274 views

Force problem related to adhesive and bonding

I have two PCBs (printed circuit board), and they are glued by adhesives, as show in the pictures. And the location of the adhesives are indicated on the picture (please notice that NO adhesive is ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Why does melted agarose in solution appear fully transparent, but become opaque when polymerized?

Agarose gels (hydrogels) are commonly used in molecular biology for electrophoresis of DNA. When a solution of hot agarose is poured, the material is clear: When a gel forms, the material ...
1
vote
3answers
198 views

What can justify the decrease of the electrical conductivity with the increase of light intensity?

I have currently been working with a sample that "appears to" decrease its resistance when I cover it and protect it from light. Basically it presents the opposite behaviour of a photoresistor. What ...
1
vote
0answers
10 views

How does one go about designing a substrate heater for PVD? I need to design one that can go till 1000 C in Oxygen.

Can I just use a Kanthal wire and make a pattern on a ceramic base? Wouldn't such an exposed element get shorted when I use substrates like Silicon? But wouldn't a layer of ceramic on top of the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Inflating a balloon (expansion resistance)

I am doing a quick calculation on how to calculate the pressure needed to inflate a perfectly spherical balloon to a certain volume, however I have difficulties with the fact that the balloon (rubber) ...
2
votes
2answers
568 views

What limits the maximum sustainable surface charge density of a sphere in space?

Suppose I charge a sphere and leave it in vacuum for 10 years. After that time, I want its surface charge density to be in the order of 10^5C/m^2. Would that be possible? Would it depend on the ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Springs and Cantilevers - how linear and repeatable are they under deformation?

I know you guys only deal with the ideal, but in practice how linear and repeatable is the response of a spring or cantilever when deformed under a test mass?
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Difference between dielectric and insulators

AS per my knowledge - dielectric are insulators which can be polarized in presence of external electric field. Does that mean all Insulators are not dielectrics ? If yes then kindly share example of ...
13
votes
1answer
177 views

Synthesis of Fe-based superconductors

Polycrystal cuprate superconductors are generally prepared by solid state reactions: Starting reagents are in powder form, they are mixed to each other and placed into furnace on high temperature ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Lab experiment: hysteresis disappears, reappears and then disappears again. How?

In my college laboratory we were assigned an experiment to measure the hysteresis curves of a certain ferromagnetic material at different temperatures. Sounds simple, right? Well, the block of Monel ...
2
votes
4answers
15k views

Why don't FCC metals have a brittle-to-ductile temperature transition?

I initially thought that it had something to do with the number of slip systems in FCC vs. BCC, but they're both the same.
7
votes
5answers
966 views

How does water carve rock?

How does water carve rock? And more generally, how does a soft material carve a hard material? Obviously it happens, but is it a continual process (every drop of soft water carries away a minute ...
4
votes
1answer
391 views

What factors cause the velocity saturation to occur at different electric fields for different materials?

In semiconductors the velocity of carriers gets saturated after a certain value of electric field. In silicon it occurs at around $10^4 kV/cm$ and in GaAs at some other value. What factors are ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

How does force transmit through a solid block?

If you take a solid block, say, a cube of side length $l$ with density $\rho$, you place it upon a solid floor, and you apply an external pressure of $p(x,y)$ on the upper face ($x$ and $y$ define a ...
12
votes
1answer
230 views

Third-order susceptibilities of metals?

Can anyone point me to a source for measurements of the third-order nonlinear electric susceptibilities $\chi^{(3)}$ of various metals? Specifically in relation to the AC Kerr effect, so measurements ...
6
votes
1answer
527 views

Semiconductor problem: how much Boron is required to establish a certain amount of charge carrier density

The problem description is as follows: Boron is used to dope 1 kg of germanium (Ge). How much boron (B) is required to establish a charge carrier density of 3.091 x 10^17 / cm^3. One mole of ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't metals damp vibrations?

Fluid damps vibrations due to viscous dissipation. Does anyone has any insight on a molecular, microscopic level about the reasons that vibration damping of metals is negligible?
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Why an impact exerts so much force? [closed]

If an object of velocity $v$ and mass $m$ moves towards a resting object of mass $M$, then if the object which is hit might break. Why? What is the reason that a collision has more power than a ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

How does the shattering of an amorphous solid change in lower gravity?

This is a question that's been bothering me for a while. If I were to stand on the moon, holding a pane of glass, what would happen if I smashed it? Glass is an amorphous solid, which is why it is ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Are insulators and conductors arbitrary categories?

I have seen charts showing the transition from insulator to semi-conductor is at $10^{-8}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$ and between semi-conductor and conductor is $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
0
votes
1answer
395 views

Malleability in metals

I am trying to understand malleability in metal as a result of the micro structure. I am focusing on the metals of antiquity (in order of decreased malleability): Gold, Silver, Copper, and Iron. While ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Reason behind heating the substrate in Pulsed Laser Deposition

Why do we need to supply a constant heat to the substrate while depositing thin films in Pulsed Laser Deposition technique?
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Mechanical properties crown cap [closed]

What are the important mechanical properties to look at when designing a crown cork and why? Thank you in advance
1
vote
2answers
347 views

Do bifacial solar panels operate at lower temperature than normal solar panels?

Bifacial solar panels have a glass backplane instead of the usual aluminum and are designed to absorb and convert to electricity light incident on either face. Many manufacturers claim that their ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Can you dent a metal wall with a feather?

I know that theoretically you can only scratch a material with a harder material, but what about denting? While scratching a solid would seem to involve breaking bonds, denting a solid would ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

How strong could a carbon nanotube be?

I was thinking about the limits of flywheel energy storage and wondered about carbon nanotubes. The amount of energy that can be stored per unit mass in a flywheel depends not on tensile strength but ...