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April 26th, 2006
A team of 11 researchers, including 10 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and one at Stanford University, has gained a fundamental new insight into the physical strength of crystalline materials, which perhaps surprisingly include the industrial mainstays of aluminum, iron, gold and silicon. Findings of the study, which was led by Lawrence Livermore researcher Vasily V. Bulatov, appear in the April 27 issue of the journal Nature.
... scientists and entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in creating devices and structures at scales of millionths to billionths of meters—the so-called "nanoscale." There, very little is known about material strength. In fact, much of the wonder regarding nanotechnology derives from the fact that at those dimensions, most materials behave very differently than they do at macro scales.
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