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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What is the difference between lattice vectors and basis vectors?

Google has not been very useful in this regard. It seems no one has clearly defined terms and Kittel has too little on this.
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769 views

Acoustic Metamaterials: Negative Bulk Modulus?

In acoustic metamaterials we have simultaneously negative bulk modulus, $\beta$, and effective mass density, $\rho$. I understand how one can obtain a -ve $\rho$ by constructing a solid-solid system ...
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1answer
306 views

What is nonlocal resistance?

We are first taught to calculate local resistance, where current and voltage are on the same part of the material. But many experiments measure nonlocal resistance, where current and voltage are ...
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1answer
1k views

Which ferromagnetic material has the lowest Curie temperature?

It is hard to search for materials by their properties in general and I am trying to find a material with a very low Curie temperature. At the moment I am browsing different sites but can only find a ...
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1answer
2k views

What will the strength of a sintered steel piece be compared with a cast piece?

By sintering here, I mean specifically deposition laser sintering, i.e., put down a patch of steel powder, zap it with a laser so that it liquifies at least partially, lay down a new patch, laser, ...
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1answer
40 views

Physical Constraints of Very Large Humanoids [closed]

I loved Godzilla movies when I was a kid (still do), but ever since Pacific Rim came out, I have been pondering just how implausible really large humanoids would be given the laws of physics. For the ...
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1answer
30 views

Would it actually be possible to preserve a snow flake?

In episode one of season 3 of The Big Bang Theory Leonard offers Penny as a gift a snow flake he says he preserved in some kind of resin, having it brought from the North Pole. Is this purely ...
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1answer
160 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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1answer
137 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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231 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 ...
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1answer
368 views

Regarding Bravais lattices

There is 'End-Centered' Orthorhombic lattice . Why this type is not in 'Cubic' lattice ? On which basis did Bravais propose his theory ?
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1answer
86 views

What are the theoretical prerequisites for experimental work with SEM and TEM? [closed]

What level of knowledge and in what areas would be required to perform experimental work with an SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and a TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) respectively? E.g. ...
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1answer
113 views

Is this 2D structure triclinic?

The only rotation axis obvious to me is rotation by 360 degrees, the identity. Vertical mirror planes I've been dicing and cutting it through several planes and I still see none. Yet, the structure ...
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1answer
296 views

What limits the maximum sustainable surface charge density of a sphere in space?

Suppose I charge a sphere and leave it in vacuum for 10 years. After that time, I want its surface charge density to be in the order of 10^5C/m^2. Would that be possible? Would it depend on the ...
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2answers
3k views

Materials with a high compressive strength to weight ratio

We know about extremely strong materials such as carbon nanotubes. However, this is only in tension. What are some high strength-to-weight materials (both available and hypothetical) in uniaxial ...
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1answer
207 views

Is shear elasticity the same as shear modulus?

I've encountered both the terms "shear elasticity" and "shear modulus". Are these the same?
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1answer
441 views

A differential equation of Buckling Rod

I tried to solve a differential equation, but unfortunately got stuck at some point. The problem is to solve the diff. eq. of hard clamped on both ends rod. And the force compresses the rod at both ...
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2answers
2k views

Properties to select suitable materials for making permanent magnets

I have read that soft iron is suitable for making a permanent magnet. Because it is required for permanent magnet to have high coercivity and high retentivity. Same text also said earlier that soft ...
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1answer
53 views

The Egg Smashing Tournament

My cousins and I have a annual egg breaking tournament. First, each of us gets a hard boiled egg. Then, in a bracket tournament style, a pair of us face off in an egg breaking round: one person holds ...
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21 views

Carbon fibre laser beam dump material?

A few years ago I came across a material used as a high power laser beam dump. It was made from carbon fibre which looked like a mat made of high density bristles ie all the fibres on the top of the ...
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1answer
72 views

How much weight would I need to put on the end of a tube to break it?

Say I have a tube with a circular cross-section made from some material (for an example, I'd like to use acrylic). I support it horizontally from one end and hang a weight from the other end. How ...
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25 views

Does the surface of austenitic steels have an especially “dynamic” phase somewhere between 100 and 200 Celsius?

There is lots of kitchen lore about pans. One popular concept are the "pores" of a steel pan surface, which are the reason why food sticks to the pan when it's not heated properly. I don't know much ...
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2answers
89 views

How absorption coefficient determines which material is used to make solar cells?

Does the knowledge of the material absorption coefficients aids engineers in determining which material to use in their solar cell designs? If yes, how?
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3answers
138 views

Materials with directional friction property?

At the macroscopic level a simple metal file or rasp creates a large amount of friction in one direction and a much smaller amount in the opposit direction. Shark skin displays the same properties due ...
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0answers
86 views

Reasons to consider the coefficient of restitution velocity independent - conditions when this does apply

In high-school mathematics textbooks a bouncing ball is often considered as an example of an exponential decay. One can easily derive this if one assumes that the coefficient of restitution is ...
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0answers
102 views

Bubbling metal vapor through liquid Helium?

When a metal cools from its liquid state, part of the nucleation happens from pre-existing clusters (a group of unit cells of the crystal lattice) already present in the liquid. In the case of a ...
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0answers
176 views

How can I determine the type of magnet used in a DC motor?

I repair electrical motors in a workshop and sometimes I must repair permanent magnet DC motors and other motors that use permanent magnets. I need to specify type of permanent magnet (Ferrite or ...
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1answer
59 views

The resolution limit for lithography in practice?

For a given wavelength of light $\lambda$, and a given numerical aperture (NA), I always see the statement in papers/etc. that we can perform lithographic patterning at the Rayleigh limit given by ...
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5answers
31k 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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1answer
157 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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1answer
108 views

Will a diamond helm be more protective against bullets?

Will a helm made entirely of diamond be more protective against bullets than standard steel or kevlar helmlets?
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4answers
425 views

Will tensile strength keep a cable from snapping indefinitely?

Trying to secure a wall hanging using magnets; me and a coworker came up with an interesting question: When the hanging is hung using 1 magnet, the weight of it causes it to quickly drag the ...
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3answers
875 views

Why does diamond have lower tensile strength than Iron?

Let me first give you the tensile strength of both substance: Diamond: 16000 MPa Steel : 2617 MPa As you guys should know, tensile strength is how much a ...
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1answer
371 views

What would be the basis vectors for this 2D crystal structure?

In the above image, I have a 2D crystal structure. The lattice vectors are described by: a = {-1/2, -Sqrt[3]/2}; b = {1, 0}; and the location of atoms A and B ...
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2answers
66 views

Optical refocusing efficiency

What is the material for optical focusing that produces the less diffraction losses? Suppose one have a sequence of serial optical elements $R$ that keep refocusing a beam of collimated light, each a ...
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3answers
1k views

Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?

Today's liquid crystal shutter glasses, when in the "transparent" state, exhibit only 40% light transmission. They work using two polarizer layers, one which is liquid crystal and goes {vertical ...
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2answers
72 views

What are some examples of non-Lambertian light scatters/radiators in everyday life?

What are some examples of non-Lambertian light scatters/radiators in everyday life? How to easily demonstrate their difference from Lambertian ones?
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1answer
80 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 ...
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1answer
410 views

Will density of a metal increases during forging?

This question is metallurgical engineering, but I had a similar doubt regarding density of liquids and what causing it. Forged parts refines defects, dislocations will be moved strengthening the ...
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1answer
670 views

Where I can find a torsional stiffness table for different types of stainless steels?

I am trying to comparing the torsional stiffness of different types of stainless steels. I googled the keywords but I could not find any useful information. Would anyone please give me some links ...
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1answer
47 views

Is this crystal defect an example of dislocation or a vacancy

It looks to me that a regular hexagonal pattern formed by the Ga atoms is interrupted in the middle of the crystal. Is this a void (or vacancy...), dislocation or another type of defect? Plus what ...
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1answer
43 views

Working out the penetration of radioactive decay products

From my understanding of the products of radioactive decay (alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma are all I know of), the particles (or energy I guess?) are stopped by a medium according to it's ...
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1answer
39 views

Can I tear apart a pipe with magnetostriction? And how big field should I use?

As I know, with magnetostriction we can "stretch" its unit cell. The stronger is the field, the more it expands the cell. Using alternating current in coils that induce magnetic field we can stretch ...
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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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1answer
93 views

Transparency of gypsum and concrete for RF waves

Is there a database (or any other source) of graphs of average transparency of various materials (cardboard, concrete, gypsum etc.) as a function of wavelength?
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1answer
244 views

In a game of tug of war, what concepts are involved in determining where the rope breaks?

Assume that in a game of tug-of-war the rope ends up breaking. What concepts/factors would contribute to the position of where the rope breaks?
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3answers
7k views

Why don't FCC metals have a brittle-to-ductile temperature transition?

I initially thought that it had something to do with the number of slip systems in FCC vs. BCC, but they're both the same.
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1answer
393 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

Getting a given wavelength radio signal given an antenna with real-world constraints

Supposing you are given a transmitting antenna of whatever type of metal is most commonly used these days, and supposing that you are applying an AC current with the intent of transmitting a 1 m ...
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1answer
97 views

Simulation of broken object

I was thinking and the following question came out: how an object that is falling is simulated once it hits the ground? Specifically, I would like to understand how one would be able to simulate the ...