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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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?
36
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
1
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1answer
199 views

Friction between atoms in spring

if i doing experiment on spring-mass system in vaccum,if i pull the to some extent (within elastic limit of spring) & let it go,will the system oscillate indefinitely? (neglect contact frictions ...
31
votes
8answers
22k views

Will a hole cut into a metal disk expand or shrink when the disc is heated?

Suppose you take a metal disc and cut a small, circular hole in the center. When you heat the whole thing, will the hole's diameter increase or decrease? and why?
6
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1answer
2k views

Transparency of materials

Is transparency of material has something to do with inter- or intra-molecular bonding? E.g. both graphite and diamond are carbon, but graphite is opaque and diamond transparent.
7
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1answer
3k views

Why are some materials diamagnetic, others paramagnetic, and others ferromagnetic?

Why are some materials diamagnetic, others paramagnetic, and others ferromagnetic? Or, put another way, which of their atomic properties determines which of the three forms of magnetism (if at all) ...
3
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3answers
4k views

Why is copper diamagnetic?

Cu has an unpaired electron in 4s, but it is diamagnetic. I thought that it has to be paramagnetic. What am I missing?
166
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12answers
35k views

Why don't metals bond when touched together?

It is my understanding that metals are a crystal lattice of ions, held together by delocalized electrons, which move freely through the lattice (and conduct electricity, heat, etc.). If two pieces ...
16
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3answers
4k 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. ...
17
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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?
2
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1answer
517 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, ...
0
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1answer
172 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 ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Calculate the weight a simple plank can support [closed]

I'd like to build a simple desk; just a single plank of wood (or a few side-by-side) with solid supports on each end of the desk. What I'm trying to figure out is how thick a plank I want to use for ...
12
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3answers
765 views

Can the speed of light become complex inside a metamaterial?

The speed of light in a material is defined as $c = \frac{1}{\sqrt{\epsilon \mu}}$. There are metamaterials with negative permittivity $\epsilon < 0$ and permeability $\mu < 0$ at the same time. ...
3
votes
2answers
603 views

Mnemonics to remember various properties of materials

I'm trying to figure out how to remember that hardness: how resistant it is to deformation toughness: how resistant it is to brittle failures stress: force on a surface area strength: ability to ...
13
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1answer
1k 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 ...
12
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3answers
935 views

Why are materials that are better at conducting electricity also proportionately better at conducting heat?

It seems like among the electrical conductors there's a relationship between the ability to conduct heat as well as electricity. Eg: Copper is better than aluminum at conducting both electricity and ...
7
votes
2answers
507 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
38 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Transparency of solids using bandgaps and relation to conduction and valence bands

I think I understand how a solid can appear transparent as long as the energy of the photons travelling through it are not absorbed in the material's bandgap. But how does this band gap relate to ...
4
votes
1answer
538 views

Origin of Elasticity

Why is it that not all bodies possess Elastic behavior? What is the origin of elasticity or plasticity? I mean, it's a physical property. So, how does it relate to atoms or molecules in different ...
4
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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
337 views

How to calculate the highest theoretical artificial hill?

The biggest peak in the world is Mount Everest. Imagine someone starting to make an artificial hill (like pyramide) from soil (earth). So, when starting with an 200x200 Km base area, with 45degree ...
4
votes
0answers
978 views

Inflating a balloon (expansion resistance)

I am doing a quick calculation on how to calculate the pressure needed to inflate a perfectly spherical balloon to a certain volume, however I have difficulties with the fact that the balloon (rubber) ...
7
votes
3answers
779 views

In mechanics, is shock really better expressed as jerk instead of acceleration?

Some expensive electronics or mechanical devices are designed to be shock-resistant. However, the manufacturers often market the level of shock-resistance in units of g-force (I know g-force is really ...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

Are there materials that get softer with temperature decrease?

Could be there material that begins melting/softening when it's temperature is lowered? I would say no, but I've seen enough physics to know that not always life is so easy. Moreover I think I've ...
6
votes
2answers
441 views

Is there a Tungsten alloy more dense than gold?

This thought came from researching a previous question. In the spirit of our get-rich-quick scheming I looked up element densities and prices near gold. Element (g/cm^3) (dollars/kg) Uranium ...
6
votes
2answers
149 views

Hollow gold bar

A scammer got a hollow gold bar and fills it with a combination of lead and air, with the same average density as gold. What's the simplest way of discovering the fraud? I know that x-rays will see ...
3
votes
1answer
531 views

Why does glass break at the line where you score it?

Why does it take such a small incision for the glass to break at that spot? Why is the structural strength of the material influenced by such a small imperfection?
2
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Trapping EM radiation [duplicate]

Is there a material which can allow light (or any other EM radiation) to pass through from one side as if it is transparent but its other side reflects light like a mirror?
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
0
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1answer
105 views

What are the Electric and Magnetic Properties of Aluminum Oxynitride?

Is Transparent Aluminum (Aluminum Oxynitride) a good conductor of electricity? Also, is it attracted by a magnet?
0
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2answers
205 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, ...
0
votes
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: ...
-1
votes
1answer
123 views

'Push' in a rigid rod travel at speed of sound or speed of light [duplicate]

Two person, $A$ and $B$, each holding one end of a long solid rod. Now person $A$ pushes the rod on one end. Question: Is it correct that the information that the rod has been pushed will travel ...