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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Spring limitation

Is there any limitation in acceleration and frequency of a spring. Please, imagine a horizontal spring with an object of mass $m$ attached in the free side and the friction is neglected. ...
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1answer
19 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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1answer
135 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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1answer
117 views

Malleability in metals

I am trying to understand malleability in metal as a result of the micro structure. I am focusing on the metals of antiquity (in order of decreased malleability): Gold, Silver, Copper, and Iron. While ...
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1answer
160 views

What factors cause the velocity saturation to occur at different electric fields for different materials?

In semiconductors the velocity of carriers gets saturated after a certain value of electric field. In silicon it occurs at around $10^4 kV/cm$ and in GaAs at some other value. What factors are ...
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2answers
41 views

Does metal sublimate?

I know that solid water (ice) sublimes ("evaporates" straight from solid to dissolved gas) in air. On the other hand, some metal objects seem to last forever (e.g. gold, stainless steel and other ...
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13 views

Reflectance spectrum and Real Refractive Index Relation

I have taken in the laboratory mesurment of the Reflectance spectrum of a material and via mathematica calculated the phase for Kramers-Kronig Relations,and finnaly i calculated from it the real part ...
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1answer
22 views

Mechanical properties and nanocoatings

How do you model the changes in the mechanical properties of materials coated in with nano-materials? If I coat abs plastic with amorphous diamond how does that change the sheer, tensile and other ...
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1answer
24 views

Ohmic and non-ohmic conductors

What sort of materials are ohmic and what sort of materials are non-ohmic? I have tried looking around on the internet and have not found any clear way to differentiate between ohmic and non-ohmic ...
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2answers
98 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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1answer
25 views

Why does adding thorium to a TIG welding electrode improve the arc?

Why does adding thorium to a TIG welding electrode improve the arc? What are the physics behind this and other tungsten alloys used for improving TIG electrodes?
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32 views

How does force transmit through a solid block?

If you take a solid block, say, a cube of side length $l$ with density $\rho$, you place it upon a solid floor, and you apply an external pressure of $p(x,y)$ on the upper face ($x$ and $y$ define a ...
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2k views

Why does a spring lose its energy when compressed for a long time?

Why does a spring lose a part of its energy when compressed for a long period of time? Is it because the material gets bent?
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3answers
422 views

What are the rules for breaking a glass with your voice?

So, this morning I woke up and remembered something I discussed about with one of my friends: Can human voice really break a wine glass? So I looked it up and after checking many websites and ...
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4answers
913 views

Does extreme cold make **everything** extremely brittle?

First of all, I'm genuinely sorry if this question isn't "serious" enough for this forum! A common cliche in movies and tv is that a very tough object (eg the villain) is frozen, and then hit with ...
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2answers
46 views

First-principles derivation of cutting force

I know that the amount of force required to separate a material from itself is linked to the surface energy of that material. However, looking at just the surface energy laughably underestimates the ...
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1answer
76 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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1answer
15 views

What is the physical process behind wool shrinking when dried?

Wool is a fibrous material, but other fibrous materials do not suffer the same problem. Let us set the scene; a woollen jumper shrinking when put in the washing machine, then the dryer. This involves ...
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1answer
39 views

Why does the refractive index not mirror the Lorentzian peak shape of the absorption index?

In the characterization of materials, there are many methods used: One of them is infrared spectroscopy. In a lab we saw the indices of refraction and absorption of a certain (semiconductor) solid ...
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1answer
38 views

Tension and compression in bicycle wheel spokes - what holds the wheel in place?

I assume that most of the weight of the bicycle is taken by spokes in tension, but there must also be a contribution from spokes in compression. Any idea of percentages?
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1answer
25 views

how much weight can you put on a bike tire? [closed]

How much weight can you put on a bike tire? What does it depend on?
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17 views

Spectral reflectance identification of types of iron rust [migrated]

According to the Wikipedia page about rust, there are red and green types of rust that occur on iron. Red rust is the reaction with oxygen and water and the green with chlorine (in oxygen poor ...
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1answer
170 views

Force problem related to adhesive and bonding

I have two PCBs (printed circuit board), and they are glued by adhesives, as show in the pictures. And the location of the adhesives are indicated on the picture (please notice that NO adhesive is ...
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1answer
53 views

Why is elastic modulus greater than shear modulus?

I was looking at data for elastic modulus $E$ and shear modulus $G$, and found that $G$ is always lower than $E$. So I'm wondering what are the underlying principles that may be the cause of this. ...
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14 views

Is there a list of (the solid state version of) electron affinities?

I'm doing some energy band diagram analysis for a few scenarios, and I need the Electron affinity as defined in solid state physics for a few materials. Note that this is different than the one taught ...
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22 views

What will my diamond fibre shirt look like?

So, during an idle moment when I mused that our experimental setup would be a lot less hassle if it was made from a 1kg single crystal of diamond, this thought occurred to me... Since single crystal ...
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1answer
109 views

Grain boundary sliding in creep

To prevent grain boundary sliding so that creep is less likely to occur, usually engineers would design components of larger grains or have columnar grain structure to prevent grain-boundary sliding. ...
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1answer
69 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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5answers
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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
71 views

How can one reasonably theoretically model polycrystalline materials?

Many techniques are taught in advanced solid state courses but they are almost all derived for perfectly crystalline materials. For example, band structure really only appears theoretically when you ...
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2answers
3k views

what is difference between homogeneous vs isotropic material?

When we say a material is isotropic? When properties such as density, Young's modulus etc. are same in all directions. If these properties are direction dependent, then we can say that the material is ...
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29 views

Help with a couple of materials science questions

My first post on this forum is asking for some assistance in answering some questions. I was hoping as well as being given an answer, you could offer a little explanation so that I can understand - ...
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1answer
34 views

Why is a substrate needed in growing GaN?

Is the substrate a layer on which GaN crystal grows on? Is there a way to grow free-standing GaN? Would the resultant crystal be full of defects?
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54 views

How can 99% empty matter have solidity? [duplicate]

If a simple atom with electrons whizzing around constantly is 99% empty space, one would think any solid-looking matter was 99% empty space. How can 99% empty matter have solidity?
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2answers
76 views

Could a long carbon nanotube be broken by hand?

Assuming we could get a single nanotube a metre long, would it be possible to break it by hand or would it slice through just about everything including flesh and bone? Could we even grip it, or would ...
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1answer
10 views

What to measure for cylinder stiffness/compressibility?

I have 2 cylinders made from different polymers. Both cylinders are made to 'accept' the same volume of water. When I fill cylinder 1 it is subjectively stiff while cylinder 2 is subjectively floppy. ...
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30 views

In which direction along a GaN (wurtzite) crystal are only Ga atoms being observed?

So, if you have an electron microscope image of a GaN crystal, and that it shows only white dots which represent Ga atoms. No nitrogen atoms are seen in the image. Along which direction is this ...
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24 views

Directions in the Elastic/Stiffness Constant Tensor

I am working on a report for an experiment I did concerning the Elastic constant tensor. This has 36 terms for tensile and shear stresses. I don't understand what the off diagonal elements are! C11 is ...
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0answers
9 views

UV and gas permable material?

Are there any material that pass uv (365nm) and gas (air) through? In addition to that question, are there any that will pass through uv and things won't stick to them? I'm thinking about building a ...
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1answer
51 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
407 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
64 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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1answer
781 views

Stress due to the mismatch of thermal expansion coefficients of two different attached materials

I'm simulating the thermo-electro-mechanical behavior of a copper wire which is surrounded by silicon dioxide. In other words, the wire segments is under mechanical and thermal loads and at the same ...
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0answers
25 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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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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2answers
36 views

What is the physical significance of the Curie constant?

What is the physical significance of the Curie constant? I understand it depends on the effective moment of the ion and hence must be some measure of it, but what is it exactly? Like some average ...
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1answer
32 views

Differences between elastic moduli

Is it true that in materials like aluminum and copper, the correct order of elastic moduli, in terms of value are: Bulk < Young's < shear modulii If this is correct, why is this the case?
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1answer
124 views

What would happen to a submarine coated in water repellent

I saw the article about laser-etched hydrophobic metal, and it got me thinking, how would a submarine function differently if coated as such? Would it move faster, sink completely, be unable to move ...
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1answer
324 views

If my lattice has an atomic basis, do I also find the reciprocals of the basis vectors to get the reciprocal crystal structure?

That is what my crystal structure looks like. The blue atoms sit on every lattice point (basis vector of $\{0,0\}$) and the red atoms have basis vector of $\left\{{2\over3},{1\over3}\right\}$. The ...
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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 ...