This atom-by-atom simulation shows a crack spreading through a brittle material. First the crack creates a clean slice across the surface, but as it gains speed it starts to gyrate, and the cracks path becomes increasingly uneven. Image/Markus J. Buehler, MIT
An MIT researcher’s atom-by-atom simulation of cracks forming and spreading may help explain how materials fail in nanoscale devices, airplanes and even in the Earth itself during a quake. This work, which could impact a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines, appears in the Jan. 19 issue of Nature.
"Classical theories of crack dynamics are only valid in a small range of material behavior," said author Markus J. Buehler, principal investigator in the Atomistic Mechanics Modeling Group in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "Our results represent a major breakthrough in understanding how cracks propagate in a variety of brittle materials, and our theory helps explain experimental and computational observations that have been poorly understood so far."
Past experiments show that cracks start out slow, creating a straight, clean slice across a flat-as-a-mirror surface. As the crack gains speed, at a certain point it starts to gyrate like an out-of-control snake, leaving in its wake an increasingly rough, uneven surface that eventually creates a chaotic branching pattern.
Elizabeth Thomson | MIT
A two-atom quantum duet
12.11.2018 | Institute for Basic Science
Improving understanding of how the Solar System is formed
12.11.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.
Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
12.11.2018 | Life Sciences
12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy