89
votes
2answers
7k views

How does a knife cut things at the atomic level?

As the title says. It is common sense that sharp things cut, but how do they work at the atomical level?
17
votes
5answers
3k views

When I stretch a rubber band, it breaks. When I hold the broken ends together, why doesn't it join again?

The question is simple. When we join the two broken surfaces, what is it that keeps the surfaces from connecting with each other, while earlier they were attached to each other? Also, would the two ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Estimate the difference between two sets of atoms

I've been working on amorphous structures derived from a crystalline one (using MD) containing $N$ atoms. I want to prove that these structures are different and to quantify their "differentness". One ...