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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286 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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0answers
42 views

Pearlite or spheroidite?

If steel alloy having either pearlitic or bainitic microstructures is heated to, and left at, a temperature below the eutectoid for a sufficiently long period of time (e.g.24hr), spheroidite will ...
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0answers
257 views

How hard is ice? [closed]

I know that there are many different types of ice and many ways for ice to form but I want to know about ice that a human might typically encounter, i.e. from a freezer or a sub-zero environment ...
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1answer
158 views

Question about supercooling

During the cooling of a liquid, if no impurity of site of nuclearation, an appreciable solidification will begin only after the temperature has been lowered to below the equilibrium solidification (or ...
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0answers
59 views

How can a paper battery behave like a capacitor?

I was trying to understand how paper batteries work and came across some explanations saying that the paper battery can also behave like a supercapacitor on account of its ability to discharge and to ...
3
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4answers
178 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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0answers
45 views

Color of cementite

I have a question about micrograph of steel. In eutectoid steel, the pearlite exists as grains, within each colony the layers are oriented in essentially the same direction, which varies from one ...
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1answer
96 views

Why can't a dislocation terminate in the bulk?

We are told that they can only terminate on surfaces, grain boundaries or other dislocations but we are not told why they can't terminate inside the crystal.
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0answers
90 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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1answer
49 views

intermetallics and solid solution

For some systems, discrete intermediate compounds rather than solid solutions may be found on the phase diagram, and these compounds have distinct chemical formulas; for metal–metal systems, they are ...
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0answers
53 views

Graphene conductor? [closed]

I was thinking if we had a a busbar that can carry massive amounts of current(since its resistance is $0.9\, \mathrm{\mu \Omega}$), and it's weight is $15\, \mathrm{kg}$, I assume if graphene would be ...
0
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1answer
70 views

A question about residual stress

Shot peening is a process of inducing residual compressive stress on the surface layer of metal parts. When shooting particles are colliding on the surface of metal there is a compressive stress. My ...
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2answers
187 views

Where I can find information about how helium gas diffuses through different polymer materials

I need more experimental information about helium gas diffusion in solid materials such as different plastics, metals, ceramics etc. For example I am scientifically curious about what is the polymer ...
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1answer
42 views

What is the meaning of $\%E$ on a graph?

I'm reading the book The New Science of Strong Materials by J.E. Gordon. He writes when we plotted (...) breaking strain, against thickness, we found it did not matter what the whiskers were made ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Where will a board break when weight is added to the end?

If you have a board, say a standard 2x4 of finite length, where one end is fixed in a cement wall and the other end is free, and you begin adding weight to the free end until it breaks, where will the ...
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4answers
473 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 ...
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0answers
10 views

Determining porosity in metals

I am in need of a book (preferably) or other reference material which would help technicians determine whether porosity exists in the fracture face of a tensile test bar for a variety of different ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Is there a textile like material that can act as a spring? [closed]

Imagine some sort of textile (as in very light, not metallic) that is tightly rolled up, can be easily unrolled by applying some force (i.e pulling it) but when released will eventually return to it's ...
4
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2answers
45 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 ...
10
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1answer
270 views

Why does finely cut paper curl?

When paper is cut to a small width, it curls up like this. Why does this happen?
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2answers
97 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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3answers
107 views

Does Mohs scale of mineral hardness always hold?

According to Wikipedia's article on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, materials / minerals with a higher rating cannot be "visibly" scratched by materials with a lower rating. It goes on to admit ...
4
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1answer
351 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 ...
3
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2answers
84 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 ...
2
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1answer
167 views

How does a fabric containing 10% stretch material make it stretchy?

Why should adding a small amount of a stretchy material make an otherwise non-stretchy fabric stretch? Shouldn't the non-stretch fibres still constrain the maximum stretch of the fabric?
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3answers
133 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 ...
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3answers
255 views

Which is stronger, wire rope or chain?

Assume they are the same material with the same weight, which is stronger?
3
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1answer
77 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 ...
2
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1answer
94 views

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

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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1answer
405 views

What is tricritical point?

Critical point is the transition temperature of a second order phase transition. But what does tricritical point mean? WIki says that a tricritical point is a point in the phase diagram of a system at ...
6
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1answer
140 views

Material implementations of the holographic principle

I'm afraid this question is a little too open-ended, but bear with me while I find a better formulation. carbon allotropes (like fullerenes and graphene) are regular patterned. Conduction bands of ...
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1answer
31 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 ...
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3answers
379 views

What makes materials hard and strong?

This is something I have wondered for a long time. Why are some materials like steel, diamond, and even light materials like graphene stronger than others? Is it due to the strength of the ...
3
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2answers
133 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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1answer
177 views

Reducing Friction between 2 abs plastic bodies [closed]

Here at the company we've been working on a new product, and it will more than a few times a day and with a considerable force, slide on a plastic surface, being itself, another plastic body, roughly ...
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3answers
5k views

Why can't a piece of paper (of non-zero thickness) be folded more than $N$ times?

Updated: In order to fold anything in half, it must be $\pi$ times longer than its thickness, and that depending on how something is folded, the amount its length decreases with each fold differs. ...
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1answer
148 views

How does tempered glass work?

I've read that tempered glass work by heating and then rapidly cooling the glass so that the outer layer 'freezes' (stops expanding/contracting) but the core contracts further as it cools. I'm told ...
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1answer
213 views

Ashcroft Mermin Solid State Eq. 22.15

I recently read a paper on Specific heat of a Classical Crystal: Dulong-Petit law. In Eq. 22.15, I don't understand why the ionic displacement $\mathbf{u}$ and ...
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5answers
32k 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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0answers
79 views

Is there quantitative theory of cutting with edge or blade

I wonder if there is some simple theory of what determine efficiency ( speed, energy end force required ) of cutting by edge ( blade , knife, sword ) At least something phenomenological like in ...
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2answers
116 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?
14
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1answer
2k views

Equation describing magnetic hysteresis

So when you're looking at B-H curves for ferromagnetic substances, you often see these magnetic hysteresis curves, which occur, I gather, largely because of domain formation which has some reversible ...
25
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1answer
5k views

Why does paper become translucent when smeared with oil but not (so much) with water?

When I smear oil onto a scrap of paper and rub it in, the paper becomes quite translucent; but when I attempt the same with water it doesn't as much. Why?
0
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1answer
259 views

What are the relative permeability and electrical conductivity of GaAs?

I am doing some simulations in COMSOL with the material GaAs. The COMSOL built-in models require me to input the relative permeability and electrical conductivity of GaAs. I have tried hard to search ...
2
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2answers
234 views

A few questions about the Fermi Level/Energy

My first question is, how is the Fermi Energy for a material actually determined? I know this derivation, but it seems to say that the Fermi Energy is just based on the electron density (and maybe ...
6
votes
3answers
843 views

Graphene +1 extra carbon bond

I'm not a physicist just a curious mind, so please go easy! I was just watching a BBC Horizon Documentary that featured a piece on the recently discovered material Graphene. One of the facts ...
0
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1answer
659 views

Limits of Poisson's ratio in isotropic solid

For an isotropic solid, Poisson's ratio can be expressed in terms of stiffness constants as: $$\sigma = \frac{c_{11} - 2c_{44}}{2c_{11} - 2c_{44}}$$ Alternatively we may express Poisson's ratio in ...
5
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1answer
251 views

Why Negative refractive index is negative

$n=\sqrt{\epsilon \mu }$ Negative refractive index happens when permittivity ($\epsilon $) and permeability ($\mu $)of a material is negative. My question is, if permittivity and permeabilitity of a ...
0
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2answers
146 views

When a wire is stretched by a load, is there any change in its volume? [closed]

When a wire, or a rod(whose diameter is not negligible) is subjected to a tensile stress, is there any change in its volume? If yes, does the volume increase or decrease? Take into consideration both ...
3
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2answers
1k 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 ...