By Kyle Kirkland

As our wisdom of topic grows, so too do the variety of fabrics. Metals observed early makes use of as swords, cash, and later, within the development of airplanes. the twentieth century witnessed a number of new fabrics: plastic that's flexible sufficient to discover use in every thing from boxes to autos, fibers which are robust adequate to make bullet-proof vests, and early homes made from wooden or stone that gave strategy to the towering skyscrapers we see this day. "Atoms and fabrics" is a publication approximately topic at its most elementary point - atoms and their parts - however it additionally explores how humans use fabric in know-how and society. This exciting identify from the hot "Physics in Our international" set complements the reader's conception and knowing of the atomic global.

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There is a lot of friction in automobile engines because there are a lot of moving parts. Heat increases with the speed of the motion, as does the wear and damage of the parts. The components of an engine must fit tightly but it is essential to minimize the extent to which they rub against each other. This is a job for lubrication—and an excellent lubricator is oil. To minimize friction, oil must be the right thickness, as measured by its viscosity. A low-viscosity liquid is thin and runny, and a high-viscosity liquid is thick and syrupy.

Combustion generates hot, expanding gases that are funneled out of a nozzle at a velocity of roughly 10,000 miles per hour (16,000 km/h). The three engines have a maximum capability of 37 million horsepower, as powerful as 100,000 of the fastest cars on the road. Even though they are enormous, the three main engines of a space shuttle are not the primary means of thrust during liftoff. These engines provide some of the power needed for launching, but their main job comes later, when the pilot maneuvers the ship into orbit.

There is another, potentially crucial use of plasmas in technology. As in the heart of the Sun and other stars, physicists would like to use plasmas to generate power from fusion. Fusion is a reaction in which small atomic nuclei join to make a larger nucleus, and in the process, a vast amount of energy is liberated. Bombs have been made from rapid fusion reactions, but to produce steady, useful amounts of energy to light and heat homes and businesses, controlled fusion is necessary. Fusion occurs in the plasma of the Sun because of the enormous temperatures— about 27,000,000°F (15,000,000°C) in the core—and duplicating these conditions on Earth is not easy.

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