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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134 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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1answer
764 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
224 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
200 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
135 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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3answers
159 views

How to block neutrons

What is a good way to block neutrons and what is the mechanism that allows this? It's my understanding that polyethylene is somewhat effective. Why?
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2answers
1k 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
5k 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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2answers
201 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 ...
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1answer
597 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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3answers
3k views

Space Elevator on Mars with Today's Technology Possible?

I know it's not possible with Earth today, but With today's level of material science technology, would it be possible to make cable strong and light enough to make a space elevator system connecting ...
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1answer
50 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
101 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
89 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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2answers
500 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
198 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 ...
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1answer
359 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
117 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
405 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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1answer
2k 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 ...
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2answers
35 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 ...
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1answer
116 views

Theoretical limits to specific strength with hierarchical structures

Specific strength (measured in units of pressure/density or speed$^2$ which in MKS there is a proposal for labelling it as the Yuri (meter/second)$^2$) is defined as tensile strength divided by ...
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2answers
2k views

Tensile strength of a braided steel wire vs. a solid steel bar?

I am wondering which one is the strongest between a steel rope and a steel bar with same diameter and made of the same steel? EDIT : The test could be: attach rope/bar to ceiling and suspend a mass ...
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1answer
1k views

Is there any way to increase a rubber-bands lifetime?

Rubber-bands are simple, yet very useful. Old rubber bands(5 years?) get brittle? Why is that?
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1answer
51 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
79 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 ...
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1answer
128 views

Is it possible that a battery goes flat faster in a cold environment?

I own an old iPod Classic with original lithium-ion polymer battery and I use it primarily while running. Recently I discovered that when a temperature outside is low, usually below 5 C degrees, the ...
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1answer
2k views

What causes stress concentration (aka stress risers/raisers) at corners?

I've read a few explanations about why stress concentration occurs at sharp corners but I don't find the explanations intuitive. Can anyone explain it perhaps using an analogy such as atoms "holding ...
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0answers
38 views

How “steady” are screw threads?

I have a setup whereby two stainless steel end caps screw into a similar tube about 100mm in length and 25mm internal diameter. Thread is fairly standard, and is finger tight. The question is: ...
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0answers
75 views

What makes Obsidian edges sharper than other glass?

Obsidian is a volcanic glass with a reputation for being extremely sharp. Some surgeons use obsidian scalpels rather than high-quality steel surgical scalpels. At the same time, glass blades are used ...
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2answers
177 views

Degree of anisotropy of crystal tensors

Does there exist a scalar that can describe how anisotropic the elasticity of a crystal is? What about other tensors such as the permittivity or susceptibility? I found a Wikipedia article that was ...
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0answers
95 views

A physicists perspective on a material science/engineering problem

I am looking into some research that involves engineering and material science. As a physicists I wondered what other physicists would think of this problem and how they would approach it. Much of the ...
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0answers
91 views

What physical properties of silver would contribute to the sound of a musical instrument? [closed]

A question was recently asked on Musical Practice & Performance, asking what physical properties of silver would contribute to the sound of percussion instruments. It is likely to be off-topic ...
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33 views

Aerosol size distribution

When the size distribution of particles in an aerosol is obtained, there is always a bimodal distribution. The small peak accounts for the particles that are in sub-nanometer size range and the larger ...
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1answer
76 views

in Science materials, what is difference b/w E and G?

I'm studying Science Materials on Callister's Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction. I've never studied Mechanics (except for basic Physics courses), so I was wandering: when talking ...
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0answers
93 views

Where does one find pair-correlation functions for various materials?

What is the canonical source for finding pair-correlation functions for atoms in various materials? I am interested in both numeric computations and experimental measurements (like might be obtained ...
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0answers
165 views

Why Does Germanium Spontaneously Extrude Long Screw Dislocations?

Pure germanium is known to spontaneously extrude very long screw dislocations. They are one of the primary reasons for the failure of older diodes and transistors made from germanium; depending ...
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0answers
91 views

Does graphene actually remain strong for macroworld engineering?

I heard that people envision strong structural materials made out of graphene, but I heard it may weaken when being stack in layers. Is graphene viable for macroworld structural engineering or is it ...
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1answer
429 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

What ring weave disposition should be the most resistant against stabbing and/or how to determine it

In a website that I am studying so I can build a Chain Mail, I have found a page featuring a lot of different Ring Weaves to build them. I want to determine which one is the best to provide ...
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3answers
244 views

Material resistency to lasers beam

Keeping the average power constant, why some materials are more eager to be damaged by pulsed laser with respect of C.W. lasers, or viceversa? When i talk about pulsed lasers i think for examples of ...
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2answers
352 views

Why is steel-reinforced concrete stronger than ordinary concrete?

Is it only because steel has higher elasticity? What other factors are involved?
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5answers
341 views

The requirements for superconductivity

Which properties are sufficient evidence for a material to be not superconducting? I am looking for a set of statements like If the material is semiconducting, it is not superconducting Edit: I ...
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3answers
492 views

Is there a simple approximation to calculate the index of refraction of water?

A very rough approximation from first principles, from the elementary charge and hbar, would suffice. But is there such an approximation at all? (Alternatively, if water is too difficult: is there ...
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1answer
277 views

What does (001) Silicon mean?

If someone gives me a thin film of Si, and they tell me it's (001) Si, does that mean that the (001) planes of Si are the ones making up the surface of the film?
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2answers
144 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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1answer
452 views

Intuitive description of what a “Fermi Gas” really is?

This question is based in the area of material equations of state. I am wanting to know what a Fermi Gas really is. I have searched in several places for a decent description, but I have not found ...
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3answers
406 views

Which is stronger, wire rope or chain?

Assume they are the same material with the same weight, which is stronger?
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2answers
114 views

Do all impacts create a wave-like disturbance in the medium through which they travel?

There is a scene in the first Matrix movie, where a helicopter strikes a skyscraper. The most interesting part is the 'slow-motion' bit where, as the helicopter strikes the building, a wave first ...