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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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?
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1answer
44 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 ...
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46 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 ...
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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?
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2answers
61 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 ...
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0answers
21 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 ...
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0answers
21 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
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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 $10^{3}~\frac{\text{S}}{\text{cm}}$. ...
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2answers
32 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?
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2answers
39 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 ...
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0answers
34 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 ...
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0answers
12 views

Height of a point in a plane given a measure of luminance

Context Assume a left-hand rule coordinate system and X points right, Y points up, Z points out. I have a camera facing perpendicular to the X-Z plane in the negative Y direction. I have 4 ...
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2answers
147 views

Why do headphones tangle themselves whereas shoe laces untie themselves?

Why do headphones tangle themselves whereas shoe laces untangle or untie themselves? Why aren't we using the phenomenon to create headphones that tangle less and shoe laces that untie less?
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1answer
30 views

Tensile strength of a chain of electromagnets

I was having a discussion about the tensile strengths of various materials. Could something like a chain of electromagnets be made to have a tensile strength proportional to the power applied to it?
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0answers
32 views

Why should we use good conductors as electrodes of a capacitor?

I was asked if and why why should the electrodes of a capacitor should be good electrical conductors. It seemed obvious to me that if I want to form a Helmholtz double layer (because that's what ...
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2answers
48 views

Is there any material that can survive a nuke? [closed]

Is there a material known to man that I can tape to a Tsar-Bomba-yield nuclear warhead and find kilometers away after detonation? This question is quite similar but a nuclear explosion is quite ...
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2answers
83 views

What causes tensile stress to decrease after a material/wire reaches its ultimate tensile stress?

I was reading the AQA A Level Physics revision guide by Jim Bretihaupt, and in the Materials chapter in the section to do with plastic deformation, it says: Beyond the ultimate tensile stress, the ...
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1answer
27 views

Would a bullet damage a piece of metal the same as a pointy stick?

If you used a materials that would offer zero bending or dulling (the bullet/ pointy stick), would a 10 g bullet traveling at 1000 m/s with a surface area of 1 mm squared damage a piece of metal the ...
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0answers
10 views

Does the rate of pressure change matter when measuring the strength of a closed container?

If I had a container that could hold 100 psi, and I increased the pressure to 100 psi instantly would I cause any excess stress on the container, or would it not make a difference from doing it over ...
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1answer
24 views

Material that reflects only a certain polarization?

Do materials exist that (significantly) reflect one polarisation of light and transmit all others?
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0answers
24 views

Copper vs Tungsten (Diffusion)

I've been studying on how to compare the activation energy for (void-) diffusivity of Copper versus Tungsten. I ended up finding $E_a[cu] = 1.1[eV]$ and $E_a[W] = 5.2[eV]$ in literature where the ...
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1answer
52 views

How to reduce size of bracelets using physics?

My mom has a set of bangles (bracelets) made of gold like the ones shown in the picture. Problem is the size (diameter) of these bangles is a bit more than required. If she goes to a goldsmith he cuts ...
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1answer
78 views

Is a laminated padlock really stronger than a solid one, and if so, why?

I used to think that the padlock design of using many layers of metal stacked to form the main body was a cost-cutting consideration. This was my assumption before I came across the idea that it was ...
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1answer
53 views

When you push a stick will the end of it respond later than the beginning? Is so what is the fastest material and what forces are involved?

Normally when two people hold a long stick the receiving person would feel at the same time the stick moving when the first person gives the stick a push. But is that in reality exactly the case? ...
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1answer
42 views

Calculating the Coefficient of Restitution Based on two Objects

The coefficient of restitution is calculated based on the velocities of objects before and after a collision: $$C_R = -\frac{v_{2f} - v_{1f}}{v_{2i} - v_{1i}}$$ The coefficient of restitution tells ...
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0answers
24 views

Armco iron B-H curves [closed]

I've been looking for B-H curves for Armco iron. I'd love to find one with good resolution. Does anyone know where you could acquire one? I've been looking in various Armco ingot supplieres but no ...
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1answer
39 views

Why can't we build a styrofoam 747?

What properties of materials explain why building the same structure at different scales requires materials of different densities and strengths? Consider an airliner, and flying models thereof at ...
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2answers
385 views

Does metal under low tension ever actually bend?

Let's assume something like a pair of tweezers, since that's strangely what led to this mental exercise. Does the metal ever actually permanently transform its shape? Stainless steel is fairly ...
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5answers
195 views

Is this a fundamentally relativistic phenomenon?

This question was inspired by some silliness in other threads but is independent of that silliness. Say that a train car sitting on a track is accelerated uniformly along its length if each point on ...
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1answer
285 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 ...
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1answer
155 views

Invariant polynomials of the Landau theory of phase transitions (crystal symmetry?)

I'm convinced I'm missing something so obvious but here goes Typically, one can define something like a "general" expansion of an order parameter, ${\boldsymbol \Gamma}$, up to 6th order as follows $...
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1answer
60 views

Why a balloon explodes by itself? [duplicate]

I was wondering why a balloon explodes after some time by itself with no specific reason. yesterday I was doing my chores and to my amazement the balloon far in the corner of house pop with no obvious ...
77
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9answers
14k views

Why does matter exist in 3 states (liquids, solid, gas)?

Why does matter on the earth exist in three states? Why cannot all matter exist in only one state (i.e. solid/liquid/gas)?
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1answer
59 views

Tabletop Synchrotron

When I was undergraduate student I asked to my proffesor why nobody has made a synchrotron machine with a superconducting circular wire and magnetic field to accelerate electrons properly and to ...
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0answers
33 views

Why is the moon white? [duplicate]

Why is the Moon white? What is it's geological composition and how does that relate to it's apparent "color"?
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0answers
18 views

Why are some plastics flexible at low temperatures and some not?

Is there any general predictors for the flexibility of plastics as the temperature drops?
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0answers
32 views

Thermistor is more sensitive than metals [closed]

Can anybody tell me, why a thermistor is much more sensitive at temperature variation than a metal?
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0answers
30 views

Pressure vessel analysis of transversely isotropic multilayer material

Suppose I have a transversely isotropic, hyperelastic material with known strain energy that is a fibrous composite. I am interested in an explicit formula for the displacements (so I can get the ...
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1answer
31 views

Are all FCC structures ductile?

Doing research on crystal structures and the effects of Ductile to Brittle transition at different temperatures. Results of this test proved aluminium to be a brittle structure, which I know to be ...
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2answers
33 views

Can we enhance a thermal gradient by combining a dark surface and a shiny surface with an external glass layer?

I refer to the article at this site: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Solar_Kettle-Thermos_Flask As we know, dark surfaces absorb radiation (eg. solar water heater), while shiny surfaces reflect ...
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0answers
11 views

Do Body Centre Cubic Structures become more ductile when subject to higher temperatures or does it remain brittle?

Doing some research on crystal structures and if they experience brittle to ductile transition when subject to different temperatures. I am aware that BCC structures become very brittle at low ...
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1answer
73 views

Measuring speed of sound in a solid specimen

Let's say I have real-life specimens of isotropic solid materials I want to investigate some properties of. Through my setup I'm able to send mechanical wave pulses into one cylindrical bar of the ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do chocolate bars usually break at the cleavages?

Why do chocolate bars usually break at the cleavages? The chocolate bar is less thick at cleavages. How can we relate thickness and fracture point of chocolate bar?
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1answer
43 views

Does light influence transparency?

Let's consider this thought experiment: There is a sheet of a (more or less) transparent material. On one side of the sheet there are two light sources illuminating one spot on the sheet. The sources ...
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0answers
38 views

Why do the vines change their spinning direction? [closed]

Look at the vines holding onto the lattice. The "vine springs" change their spinning direction in the middle. Why? And how do they achieve this? (I notice that some vines fail to get in touch with ...
0
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1answer
12 views

Question about the way the inner stress in an axially loaded member is defined

When a member is in tension, such as in a tensile test of a piece of metal, its freebody-diagram would show a force of P in both directions. Why then is its internal stress not $\frac{2 \cdot P}{A}$? ...
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1answer
26 views

Adsorption of polar molecules

On any given surface, is there more adsorption if the molecules in a vapor are polar? For example, for a given (approximate) molecular weight would one expect more adsorption onto a surface by the ...
3
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0answers
48 views

The physics of an anvil [closed]

I am trying to understand how an anvil might best be made. An anvil requires two essential characteristics: enough hardness to not be deformed under the blows of the hammer, but as little rebound and ...
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0answers
42 views

Different ways to calculate the bulk modulus

I am trying to calculate the bulk modulus of unit cells of materials with trigonal or monoclinic structure using two different methods: -The first one is by fitting the changes of volume and energy ...
2
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0answers
30 views

Why do sponges work? [duplicate]

By "sponge" I mean anything used to suck up liquids from surfaces, such as kitchen towels etc. I assume capillary action is a factor, and also maybe surface area and surface energy. What are the ...