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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501 views

How to calculate the highest theoretical artificial hill?

The biggest peak in the world is Mount Everest. Imagine someone starting to make an artificial hill (like pyramide) from soil (earth). So, when starting with an 200x200 Km base area, with 45degree ...
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1answer
641 views

BCS theory, Richardson model and Superconductivity

I'm studying Richardson Model in second quantization. There are many initial points that I don't understand: We supposed that an attractive force between 2 electrons exists, due to electron-phonon ...
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2answers
932 views

Mnemonics to remember various properties of materials

I'm trying to figure out how to remember that hardness: how resistant it is to deformation toughness: how resistant it is to brittle failures stress: force on a surface area strength: ability to ...
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1answer
141 views

Why do neutron stars have solid crusts?

A long time ago I read that neutron stars have a solid crusts that are several orders of magnitude harder/stronger than alloys here on the Earth. So how is this possible ? A neutron star has a ...
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1answer
135 views

Thermal conductivity affected by electrical current

Does anyone know of any materials whereby the thermal conductivity can be changed by passing an electrical current through the material?
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1answer
152 views

limits of diamond anvils for high pressure research

in this wikipedia article regarding diamond anvils, it mentions that the pressure peaks roughly at 300 GPa. My question is why is this so? is the diamond crystal structure collapsing if higher ...
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1answer
99 views

Why does the refractive index not mirror the Lorentzian peak shape of the absorption index?

In the characterization of materials, there are many methods used: One of them is infrared spectroscopy. In a lab we saw the indices of refraction and absorption of a certain (semiconductor) solid ...
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107 views

Could a long carbon nanotube be broken by hand?

Assuming we could get a single nanotube a metre long, would it be possible to break it by hand or would it slice through just about everything including flesh and bone? Could we even grip it, or would ...
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2answers
89 views

Why nano indentation is used to test bulk material?

I am curious why nano indentation is used? I can understand when material size goes to micros or below, conventional hardening methods can become difficult to use. However many papers say that ...
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1answer
354 views

If atoms have specific energy levels, why do opaque solids absorb all visible light, not just some? [duplicate]

Here's my question: if atoms have well defined energy levels and those differences correspond to the frequencies of light that can be absorbed, how is it that opaque objects absorb all or most visible ...
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1answer
207 views

Wall stress of a hexagonal pressure vessel

Problem: I want to calculate the stress in the walls of a hexagonal pressure vessel but I can't manage to get coherent results. For long vessels, cylinders are supposed to have the lowest hoop stress ...
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2answers
335 views

Do amorphous metals undergo conchoidal fracture?

Amorphous metals are often referred to as metallic glasses due to their quenched atomic disorder. Do they fracture in the same fashion as silicate glasses? If not, what failure mode(s) do they have?
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1k views

Stress tensor in a cube with shear forces

I want to calculate stress matrix in a cube with two faces parallel to x axis and perpendicular to z axis (sorry I don't know how can I put a picture in this post). There are two force uniform ...
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178 views

First-principles derivation of cutting force

I know that the amount of force required to separate a material from itself is linked to the surface energy of that material. However, looking at just the surface energy laughably underestimates the ...
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1answer
635 views

Why is powdered sugar less dense than granulated sugar?

The density of powdered sugar is about 20% lower than that of granulated sugar. There is small composition difference between the two - about 3% cornstarch and 0.5% water in powdered sugar, but that's ...
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2answers
60 views

What keeps objects made of the same plastic apart?

I have two objects here which are made of the same plastic. When I hold them together, they remain separate objects: I can pull them apart with no resistance. How does each atom/molecule “know” which ...
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2answers
503 views

Why are there direct bandgaps?

This Question has been bugging me for sometime. Some semiconductors have direct bandgaps and indirect bandgaps. So what causes a direct bandgap to occur? The physics behind ,why there are direct ...
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3answers
284 views

What is the difference between material fatigue test with 1 sec cycle and 1 hour cycle?

Assume I have two pieces of metal. I want to test the material fatigue (e.g. how many cycles can the material stand before it will break). Onto one of them I apply a tension force every second. Onto ...
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1answer
260 views

(Botanical) branch bending under gravity

I'm a PhD student in maths, and attended my last physics class some 15 years ago, so you can imagine my competences in the field. My supervisor (also not a mechanist) cant tell me how to proceed ...
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2answers
291 views

Can a minimum ultimate tensile strength (UTS) for an asteroid be established based on its diameter and rotation?

I found it fascinating that many asteroids rotate with a period of just seconds. For this fast of a rotation on this size of object, I thought that would actually cause significant acceleration on the ...
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1answer
80 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
376 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 ...
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1answer
74 views

How can one reasonably theoretically model polycrystalline materials?

Many techniques are taught in advanced solid state courses but they are almost all derived for perfectly crystalline materials. For example, band structure really only appears theoretically when you ...
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5answers
52k views

Yield Strength versus Ultimate Strength

What is the qualitative difference between these two: As seen on the table Typical yield and ultimate strengths. I am trying to resolve the meaning of the phrase "contact yield stress" from C. ...
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2answers
368 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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3answers
160 views

How does radiation degrade mechanical parts and electronic devices?

I'm running out of places to look (lots of Googling, SE, [articles and books are too specific and never give a good overview]), and yet I am still unsure about how exactly radiation can degrade ...
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2answers
340 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?
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174 views

Can a liquid shrink as something is dissolved into it?

Not much more to add. By shrink, I mean become more dense at the same pressure and temperature. And I don't mean vol(A+B) < vol(A) + vol(B). I'm sure this is possible. Is it possible to ...
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937 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?
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3answers
250 views

Effects of surface roughness on specularity

Say you have a piece of glass, which looks specular if propery cut/polished. But if you sand the surface using say sand paper, it will look hazy and glossy. I'm wondering how much surface roughness ...
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4answers
305 views

Surface area of glass (or general material) and strength

How does the surface area of a piece of glass (or any general material; sapphire isn't technically glass) correlate with strength? Strength as in resistance to pressure concentrated at a small point? ...
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2answers
146 views

Can Aluminium be softened

I have an aluminium baking plate that I did put in a very hot oven and now it is soft, so I can bend it or almost roll it up. Why?
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2answers
2k views

How is the stickiness of a fluid measured?

How does one compare the "stickiness" of different substances on a certain surface? For example: Does glue A stick better to steel than glue B? Does water stick better to steel than oil?
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2answers
7k views

Will the hole on a metal disc expand or contract upon heating? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Will a hole cut into a metal disk expand or shrink when the disc is heated? The metal disc of diameter D1 has a hole in it and the diameter of the hole is D2 (D2 Now, ...
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200 views

With a machete, why is a diagonal cut more effective than a right angle one?

When cutting back some thick growth in the garden a question that always nagged me. Why is cutting diagonally seemingly more effective than cutting at right angles? Part of the answer is obviously to ...
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2answers
174 views

Does the Night Mode of the screen display (LCD) save more energy? [closed]

In some cases, we can enable the Night Mode (reversing the bright and dark color of the display; such as White Text, Black Background) for the screen display. LCD(Liquid-crystal display) seems to be ...
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2answers
273 views

What materials focus EM radiation in the 2.4GHz range

If glass and similar materials refract visible light effectively, what materials would be best for focusing lower frequencies of EM radiation, if any? If not, what other methods exist for focusing ...
3
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1answer
758 views

Why do non-stick frying pans work?

Modern non-stick frying pans use a mixture of titanium and ceramic that is sandblasted onto the pan surface, and then fired to 2,000 °C (according to Wikipedia). Can anyone explain (at the molecular ...
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1answer
74 views

Temperature dependence of magnetic domains

Does the size of magnetic domains depend on temperature ? Not able to find any papers on this subject, maybe because there is no such dependence...
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1answer
127 views

Forces of suction in WIllie Wonka's Chocolate Factory (filmed 2005 starring Johnny Depp) [closed]

Before I begin the question: I am in no way judging this movie, just happened to be casually watching it and saw the scene (referred to below) and thought to post this question. The scene: Boy falls ...
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2answers
114 views

Not-so-hot black shirt

As it is getting warmer here by the minute I was asking myself: Are there materials, that are black (in th visible range) but reflect (most) invisible light? Furthermore, I asked myself what ...
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2answers
106 views

Can zinc nitride be used as light emitting material?

I cannot manage to find any journal papers about the applicability of zinc nitride as active layer of an light emitting diode (LED). But certain papers got mention that zinc nitride with a direct ...
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4answers
1k views

How to determine what an object is composed of?

Heads up: This question has never been asked (here) before the way I will ask it here, so let's shed some light on it a bit. Prelude and anecdote(can be skipped): The other day I was walking home, ...
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2answers
223 views

What made the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake?

The Ocean Drilling Program recently published results indicating that the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake produced a maximum co-seismic slip of more than 50 meters near the Japan Trench. This is the ...
3
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1answer
544 views

What states of matter are possible at lowest temperature?

Near absolute zero, some materials are superconductors. Other materials are superfluids. Others are Bose-Einstein Condensates. Is there a complete list of possibilities? Or is this still a research ...
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2answers
152 views

Is it right to cut a slot on some material before bending?

I made a suggestion to my boss to cut a thin, shallow slot on a metal sheet on the side we wanna make 90°, so that the machine could bend it. However, the outcome was "The metal broke". My boss was ...
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1answer
2k views

Why can glass absorb ultraviolet light?

Please see the following photos. (I cannot post them...) http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q554/startanewww/CIMG4545.jpg http://i1163.photobucket.com/albums/q554/startanewww/CIMG4546.jpg From the ...
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1answer
463 views

How much does a steel spring wire bend due to it's own weight?

I'm working on an art project and I need to know how much a steel spring wire bends dependent on it's diameter. It's point of support is in the middle and it's lengths is ...
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2answers
119 views

How does stress change through a bar that sharply increases in diameter?

I am looking to analyse the stress through the following bar: The bar is of circular cross section, homogeneous in material, that is of a certain diameter on one half, and a large diameter on the ...
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187 views

Air bubbles in Ice and cause for their shape?

I was looking at the ice formed in my refrigerator and found out there were a lot of air bubbles inside it. The shape of the air pockets seemed strange to me. There were many small spherical ones ...