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 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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148 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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467 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
507 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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115 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 ...
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376 views

Electrial Conductivity of Thin Metal Films

What is the best way to find specific/electric conductivity which is dependent of very thin film thickness?
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317 views

light absorbing diodes characteristics

Recently, there was a publication regarding some new materials that would let thru light in one direction and either absorb it or reflect it in the other direction; the publication does not clarify on ...
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283 views

What are the specific electronic properties that make an atom ferromagnetic versus simply paramagnetic?

As I understand it, paramagnetism is similar in its short-term effect to ferromagnetism (spins of the electrons line up with the magnetic field, etc.), though apparently the effect is weaker. What is ...
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59 views

How is spring steel so hard?

The mechanical properties of a steel object are influenced by the metal composition, the manufacturing process, and the final heat treatment of the object. Spring steel is a steel that was heat ...
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111 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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44 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 ...
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58 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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115 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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181 views

Pressure applied to flat plate

I have a question about the pressure placed on a plate of material X, how the force is distributed and what would be the material property that would determine its failure. To simplify things ...
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242 views

Abacus about the thermal expansion of copper

I am currently working on the measurement of the coefficient of thermal expansion of copper. In order to compare my experimental results with theory or experiments made by others, I am looking for ...
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3answers
4k views

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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719 views

Glass pipe cutting

I want to know how to quickly create the straightest possible breaks in glass pipes I apologise if this is only borderline suitable for a physics forum - I just hope experts with a lot of experience ...
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808 views

Is it possible to increase refractive index at lower densities?

Are there any materials for which the refractive index decreases with density? It seems that for most materials we would expect there to be a positive correlation between density and refractive index, ...
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356 views

Computational Science involve programming? [closed]

I read what is computational science in Wikipedia but the explanation and understanding are not very clear. So, I could you please give a simple example computational science project and what all ...
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73 views

A reliable aluminium battery that charges in a minute. What's the catch?

This article Ultra-fast charging aluminum battery offers safe alternative to conventional batteries, phys.org. reports on the finding by a Stanford group of an aluminium-ion battery that can ...
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86 views

Demagnetisation by throwing a magnet

I tried to answer this question in a book about electrodynamics: How to demagnetise a permanent magnet, ie. described by $ D_T$ change into described by (0,0) I figured out about heating it up ...
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884 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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4k 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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336 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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493 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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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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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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47 views

Why does sunlight cause colors to fade?

If you leave something outside, its colors seem to inevitably fade or bleach due to exposure. Is this due to UV absorption? What sort of mechanism causes this - is it that man-made dyes deform on a ...
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42 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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89 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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31 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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2answers
114 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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265 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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186 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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249 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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448 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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93 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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119 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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356 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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224 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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3k 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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17 views

What physical parameters are really being described when a rope manufacturer cites “elongation %”?

I have a precision pulley system sensitive to micron displacements. I am having issues because I need a cord with low tensioning force, but also low stretch. I am getting some weird hysteresis in the ...
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38 views

Effects of cutting carbon nanotube buckypaper

Carbon nanotube buckypaper is a film/paper made from a mesh of carbon nanotube fibers, where each fiber is a bundle of a couple hundred nanotubes. This paper is flexible and tough like normal paper, ...
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27 views

What is the volume magnetization of Fe3O4 (magnetite) monodomains at room temperature?

Magnetite is great stuff for making ferrofluids and has a huge amount of literature. Yet I can't seem to find an answer to the simple question in the title. The magnetization of various bulk ...
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1answer
68 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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44 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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26 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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189 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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110 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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108 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 ...