Quote: Beginner’s Mind and Expert’s Mind

In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.
— Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Found here.

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Liquid Metal? In A Watch?

Yes. In a watch. Not just any watch, but an Omega.

In any case, watch. I mean the video at that link, and you’ll love the slogan: “Sometimes, the most unlikely partnerships are the most enduring.” And I guess we could add, “the most expensive.”

Here’s the short description from that page on the bulk metallic glass that goes by its trade name “Liquidmetal®”:

Liquidmetal®: seamless bonding, remarkable hardness

The Liquidmetal® alloy is an amorphous metal – a metallic material with a disordered, non-crystalline atomic structure. Its fusion temperature is half that of conventional titanium alloys but when it is cooled, its hardness is three times as great as that of stainless steel. Its amorphous structure allows it to bond seamlessly with the ceramic bezel.

The Liquidmetal® is a bulk metallic glass alloy consisting of five elements: zirconium, titanium, copper, nickel and beryllium. A bulk metallic glass can, by virtue of its low critical cooling rate, be formed into a structure with a thickness of more than a tenth of a millimetre. Zirconium is an important constituent part both of the Liquidmetal® alloy and of the ceramic material which is made of zirconium dioxide (Zr02).

Thanks for the pointer to my friend and colleague Ram (Prof. U. Ramamurty), who is well known for his studies of mechanical behaviour of bulk metallic glasses.

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BTW, this blog has had a chance to post about Liquidmetal® sometime ago.

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Golden Trivia

From Who’s Got All The Gold, And Who’s Mining It:

All Gold Ever Mined – The total amount of gold ever mined is estimated to be worth around US$5 trillion.

How Gold is Used – You might have though (like me) that most of the gold in the world stored in bank vaults and lock-boxes? Actually, 78 % of the worlds’ gold is made into jewelery. Other industries, mostly electronics, medical, and dental, require about 12%. The remaining 10% of the yearly gold supply is used in financial transactions.

Posted in Economics, Materials Science, Society | 1 Comment

Materialia Indica

Just a quick note — after a dormant period of over 16 months! — to tell you that I have started blogging at Materialia Indica, an India-centric group blog by and for materials science folks — academics, researchers, post-docs, grad and undergrad students. See the About page for details. [Update (1 June 2009): Materialia Indica now has a new, more spacious and more feature-rich home at Ning, which offers a complete suite of networking and community-building features that we have always wanted (and our blog lacked). In particular, becoming a member and starting a discussion is far easier for all the members of a community in a social network than in a blog. Hence the move to Ning.

If you are interested in materials science/engineering education and research in India, Materialia Indica is the place to be. Come on in and join us. You don’t need a special invitation from anyone; just click on the ‘sign-up’ link, fill in the details, and you are in!]

As of now, my co-bloggers are Guru (M.P. Gururajan, IIT-D) and Phani (G. Phanikumar, IIT-M).

We would like to expand our team. If you are interested — or, if you know someone who might be interested, let us know through the contact form on the Contributors page.

Now, this blog can go back to being silent …9

Posted in Materials Science

Links: Spidey suits, and tips on writing papers

Science Daily: Physicists have found a formula for a Spiderman suit.

Chemical & Engineering News: Tips for writing a journal article.

Posted in Higher Ed, Physics, Publish/Perish | 2 Comments

Links: Music of the dunes, grad school advice, value of education at an elite college

Philip Ball: Grainy tunes from sand dunes.

Drek: Advice for Grad Students [Via Brayden King].

Paul Graham: “It doesn’t matter much where a given individual goes to college.

Posted in Controversy, Higher Ed, Physics | Leave a comment

Some links …

Exon points us to this Science Roll post with a compilation of science-oriented video archives.

Philip Ball has a post recounting the history (and the key person) behind the development of goggles that filter out UV and IR radiation.

Guru points us to some of the classic papers from the previous centuries that Philosophical Magazine has published on its website along with some commentary.

This article in the Hindu is about a study on the saddle point configuration for nucleation of a bubble in superheated water. It claims that this study overturns a conventional view; I am yet to figure out how!

Posted in History, Materials Science, Technology | 3 Comments