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Sightseeing in a university

  1. Nov 9, 2004 #1
    I went sightseeing in a university.
    I went to the mechanical and engineering department.
    The day was an open day of the university , so there are some professors
    greet people and they show some particular small experiment or theory to us!
    I think I probably got into the mechanical and material engineering.
    They show some materials, aluminium, and an alloy of aluminium and copper.
    The professor told me that the alloy was very strong and is used for making aircraft. No one use a pure aluminium metal.
    He told me that it is strong because the copper added increased the resistance. The model of the alloy metal slides too but not for the whole row.
    Ya. That moment, I knew about the resistance not only in electricity but also in the strength. He used a term' line' to describe the boundary.
    Is anyone free to explain further?
    Then he brought us to another room. He used immersed one iron metal into liquid nitrogen. Do you know the purpose? The iron is very cold.
    Then he use some equipment to measure the energy required to break this iron and another iron not immersed.(The central of both iron metals have a small valley) I know you must know the result
    The professor spilt the container and the liquid nitrogen was spilt.
    The spread was so fast.
    What I saw was, the colourless liquid touches the floor and evaporate very fast. The metal cover stained with some liquid. The surface turned into ice!
    The process was very smooth, I was very excited to have an experience on this dangerous chemical! The circumstance like a scenery in the " The Day after tomorrow". The scenery of the US flag turns into ice and the temperature of the surroundings drop at a rate of 10 Celsius degree.
    So you know how excited I was! Luckily, no one was hurt.
    Something more is the professor is an indian, I think(Since some of the english he spoke liked an indian and I couldn't hear clearly.My english is not very good so I am not sure).Third, we moved into a room.
    He put two long steel into a hot furnace.
    Then he put one of it into water and the other was left to cool down in air.
    He pointed a girl to break the steels.
    Could anyone predict the result and explain it ? I am not very sure in the explanation.(He didn't explain )
    Then, I went to the fluid visualisation mechanics.
    A car with shelter in a box.
    Something I want to consult is, whether the car behind a car need to spend more energy to run or spend less energy.
    The day spent there last me over 5 hours. Maybe I would share them later!
    I put my thread here because I think I need someone's help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2004 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Nice story...

    To begin with, a lot of your questions are things which will be answered in depth while you're actually at university, they don't really expect you to be able to explain everything right now, otherwise there'd be no point in doing the course! It's much more important that you're asking the questions (although asking them to the university staff will no doubt be much more beneficial to you!).

    The 'resistance' you're talking about in metal strength is probably what you might like to think of as 'stiffness', - if you mix pure aluminium with other metals (this is called Alloying) you can dramatically change the properties of the material. I'm not really sure what you mean about the boundary though, sorry.

    The thing about the 'car behind a car' thing, well this is often called 'slipstreaming'. The car behind would need to use less energy. Put simply, this is because the leading car clears air out of the way, so there is less air resistance acting on the car behind. You can see this in practice in bicycle races, - the riders don't actually want to be leading the race because it uses more energy, - instead they force other riders to take the lead up until just before the end.
  4. Nov 12, 2004 #3
    The student told me that the car behind requires more energy.
    however, mine is more or less the same as yours :p
  5. Nov 19, 2004 #4
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