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May 1st, 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.
Accurate simulations are especially important in the tiny realms of nanotechnology and microelectromechanical systems, where direct experiments to gauge material strength are difficult to perform. "Ultimately, as we gain further understanding along these lines, this [knowledge] could be used to make stronger materials," Stanford mechanical engineering Assistant Professor Wei Cai says.
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