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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5
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2answers
5k views

Penetration of armor plate

Is there a simple mathematical expression for the stopping power of a given thickness of armor, given the thickness of armor plate, the radius of a cannon ball, the density of the cannonball and the ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
995 views

Why does glass break at the line where you score it?

Why does it take such a small incision for the glass to break at that spot? Why is the structural strength of the material influenced by such a small imperfection?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

What keeps objects made of gold apart? [duplicate]

I was told the following basic facts: Objects made of the same metal don’t fuse in the atmosphere because they form an oxide layer. They do fuse in space. Gold doesn’t oxidize. Yet, gold nuggets ...
3
votes
2answers
406 views

What makes a material a good lens for CO2 lasers?

I read on Wikipedia that zinc selenide and germanium make good lenses for $\mathrm{CO}_2$ lasers. My question is, Why?
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Cold welding of a metallic surface

I have heard of cold welding, it's said that it's only possible if the surface is very clean. Can cold welding be accomplished by shearing a metal object and then immediately touching the newly ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Is strain always relative to some initial state?

Let us say I am given a material with no knowledge about its history. Can I somehow calculate its strain ? Or a strain is always relative to some initial state (change in length/initial length) ?
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Glass Hardness and Pressure

How is glass hardness defined? I understand that ordinary kitchen knives cannot scratch most toughened glass, such as the ones found on cell phones. However (I once tried) - with enough pressure, one ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

Trapping EM radiation [duplicate]

Is there a material which can allow light (or any other EM radiation) to pass through from one side as if it is transparent but its other side reflects light like a mirror?
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Can we measure speed of light in a non-transparent material

As I think even photons are absorbed by a non-transparent material, they aren't absorbed exactly at the same time. Light does propagate though a (sufficiently thin) opaque material. So can we measure ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

Wyckoff positions and lattice coordinations

Many papers use Wyckoff positions and Space Groups to report atom coordinates, making use of the structure's symmetries to save space in the notation (e.g. diamond = Fd-3m, only). How can I ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Why does the stiffness of organic polymers (plastic) change so much with small changes in temperature?

This is on the borderline between Physics and Chemistry, but I would like a Physics perspective. I am guessing that plastics are a glass-like phase, rather than a true solid.
0
votes
1answer
155 views

What are the Electric and Magnetic Properties of Aluminum Oxynitride?

Is Transparent Aluminum (Aluminum Oxynitride) a good conductor of electricity? Also, is it attracted by a magnet?
0
votes
2answers
241 views

Behavior of shock waves at relativistic speeds

Suppose I am in a spaceship traveling inertially at a velocity $v$ that is of the same order as $c$. As I pass by a metal bar that is oriented parallel to $v$, someone hits it with another metal bar, ...
0
votes
2answers
707 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 relationship between them?
0
votes
1answer
314 views

'Push' in a rigid rod travel at speed of sound or speed of light [duplicate]

Two person, $A$ and $B$, each holding one end of a long solid rod. Now person $A$ pushes the rod on one end. Question: Is it correct that the information that the rod has been pushed will travel ...
-2
votes
1answer
285 views

Is there any metal or any material that can survive the Sun? [closed]

If we were to send a unmanned spaceship through the Sun. What material can survive?