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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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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3answers
231 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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0answers
250 views

Why is my ballpoint pen spatially temperamental?

I'm trying to write with a ball-point ink pen on a plastic[1] sandwich bag. When I try to write on some parts of the bag, no ink transfers to the bag: I can continue trying for quite a while in vain. ...
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1answer
241 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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3answers
548 views

Is there a physical reason steel balls are not suitable to play billiards with?

Steel is an elastic matter and is often used when demonstrating elastic collisions. We also make springs from it. Due to these properties and for its relative low price, it seems obvious to me to ...
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1answer
1k views

Best Materials Science Introduction Book?

Why is this here? Sorry, I know that this isn't the best place to put this however there does not seem to be any other stack exchange specific to this so I thought this would be the best place ...
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2answers
826 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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229 views

Using Moments to influence the thickness of beams in structure?

Are moments relevant to the thicknesses of beams in a structure (ie. the larger the moment the thicker the beam)?
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3answers
2k views

Why wet is dark?

When something gets wet, it usually appears darker. This can be observed with soil, sand, cloth, paper, concrete, bricks ... What is the reason for this? How does water soaking into the material ...
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1answer
3k 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?
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806 views

Why is paper more frangible when it is wet?

My four-year-old daughter asked me why paper tends to fall apart when wet, and I wasn't sure. I speculated that the water lubricates the paper fibers so that they can untangle and separate more ...
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1answer
1k views

Does infrared rays pass through polarized glass?

Actually I had asked in another post that "Does infrared rays pass through active shutter glass" but someone just commented that infrared rays dont pass through polarized glass. If infrared rays ...
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1answer
115 views

What is a good reference for the mechanical properties of materials at cryogenic temperatures?

I want to research various the properties of various materials, namely tensile strength at cryogenic temperatures (~20K). I was wondering if a freely available database of material properties exists.
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207 views

Behavior of shock waves at relativistic speeds

Suppose I am in a spaceship traveling inertially at a velocity $v$ that is of the same order as $c$. As I pass by a metal bar that is oriented parallel to $v$, someone hits it with another metal bar, ...
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1answer
133 views

what gives the vermiculite it's insultative properties

i know that vermiculite is used in insulation applications. i found this notion of the R-value of vermiculite, that i don't know if its true. basically i want to know if the attribute of the ...
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1answer
55 views

Working with carbon as a material [closed]

I'm interested in building a robot with a carbon shell, and was wondering where I could find some ressources about how to work with carbon. For example, where to find it, how to shape it, and how to ...
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2answers
333 views

What is the difference between Sapphire and BK7?

What is the difference between Sapphire and BK7 in optics (lenses), is it only about quality?
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1answer
106 views

Stretching a piece of foil with a hole

I have a 20x20cm piece of foil with a circular hole of diameter 1cm in the centre. If I slowly stretch the foil both horizontally and vertically, what happens to the size of the hole? Does the size ...
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1answer
468 views

Does Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) have low wind resistance?

It is reasonable to assume that covering for example an airplane with Teflon would lead to it having lower wind resistance? The reason why I ask is that Teflon "has one of the lowest coefficients of ...
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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

How to know what materials are good conductors of electricity?

I'm not asking a question like "Is the wood conductive?". No. I'm asking what properties do they have to have to be good conductors. Theoretically I mean. Thanks.
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2answers
3k views

Wyckoff positions and lattice coordinations

Many papers use Wyckoff positions and Space Groups to report atom coordinates, making use of the structure's symmetries to save space in the notation (e.g. diamond = Fd-3m, only). How can I ...
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1answer
228 views

Why does the d-spacing of a polymer decrease as its crystallinity increases?

I am currently investigating the annealing of a polymer (Parylene-C). In my reading I have found that when the polymer is annealed, there is a decrease in thickness of the film which results from a ...
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2answers
517 views

How does infrared light 'erase' phosphorescence on zinc sulfide?

I found some sheets of zinc sulfide in my basement that phosphoresce green for up to 24 hours or so after exposure to bright light in the violet range or shorter. One of the first things I tried was ...
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2answers
3k 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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1answer
1k views

Physical meaning of elastic constants of a monoclinic crystal

For the elasticity of a material, Hook's law can be written in tensorial form as: $$\sigma = \mathsf{C}\, \varepsilon$$ where $\sigma$ is the Cauchy stress tensor, $\varepsilon$ is the infinitesimal ...
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2answers
165 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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1answer
850 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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276 views

Electrical machines: electrical and mechanical properties of steels and cast iron

I would like to know a good source of information for the common metals (steels and cast iron). Information that I need are basically the mass density and the electrical conductivity or resistivity. ...
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1answer
324 views

How does compression of carbon atoms work?

From what I understand, it's extremely difficult/ impossible to compress atoms closer together. I'm wondering how this applies in the case of graphite and diamond, where the carbon atoms adopt a ...
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2answers
3k views

Calculation of the maximum load to the bar

Looking for a way of calculating the maximum weight (W) to the rod with the given length (L) where the rod did not break and that only bend for (b) mm. Need only approximative solution (read: ...
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1answer
612 views

How to calculate the coefficient of restitution for 2 bodies?

I have 2 rigid bodies (from different materials) in a collision. As you know I should have the coefficient of restitution value to get the velocities after collision. What is the information/values ...
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2answers
253 views

Is there a readily available (or at least not theoretical) material that reflects only infrared light?

By way of context, please picture those little motion capture lights that are put over an actors body. I am interested in finding out if there is some kind of material that can do the same thing but ...
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2answers
150 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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343 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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Is one way glass possible?

I am not talking about mirrors, just a plain window made of glass like material. Would it be possible to allow light pass only in one direction but not the other?
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2answers
425 views

Effect of coarse vacuum on consumer electronics?

What is the long-term effects of storing materials in consumer electronics in a vacuum? Ie, plastics, electronic circuits and optical glasses?
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160 views

Why does the overhand knot jam but the figure-8 knot doesn't?

After tensioning a rope with an overhand knot in it, it is often very hard if not impossible to untie it; a figure-8 knot, on the other hand, still releases easily. Why is that so? Most "knot and ...
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1answer
340 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
286 views

What material can a lens be made from?

I need to make a camera lens that can easily withstand temperatures of about 1000 Fahrenheit. What should I make the lens out of?
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1answer
214 views

Nonlinear absorption coefficient and the band gap

How does the nonlinear absorption coefficient depend on the band gap? How can that coefficient be calculated theoretically? (Preferably with an example)
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2answers
285 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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1answer
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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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5answers
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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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6answers
2k views

Is there any anti-gravity material?

I want to know if there is any anti-gravity material. I am thinking of making flying vehicles which are made up of anti-gravity material so that they will not experience any gravity on them and can ...
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4answers
2k views

Why will clay, when heated to high temperatures, harden and become waterproof?

I have a question Why will clay, when heated to high temperatures, harden and become waterproof?
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1answer
101 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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4answers
3k views

Graphene space elevator possible?

I just read this story on MIT working on industrial scale, km^2 sheet production of graphene. A quick check of Wikipedia on graphene and Wikipedia on space elevator tells me Measurements have ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the penetration length of static electric field into conducting metals?

How large is the penetration length for static electric field into good conductors? I have two versions: (1) few atomic spacings $$a\sim n_{e}^{-1/3},$$ and (2) Debye length computed by Fermi ...
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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, ...