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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13
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3answers
1k views

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?
34
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
185 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
19k 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?
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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.
10
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2answers
3k 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. ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Why does paper become transparent 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 transparent; but when I attempt the same with water it doesn't as much. Why?
7
votes
1answer
2k 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) ...
2
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1answer
394 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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2answers
995 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
votes
3answers
715 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
562 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
809 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
459 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
973 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
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
477 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
votes
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
313 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
943 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
586 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
325 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
145 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
3answers
3k 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?
3
votes
1answer
445 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?
1
vote
3answers
78 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
799 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
86 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
votes
1answer
72 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
votes
1answer
97 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
votes
2answers
195 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
2k 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
112 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 ...