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What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:00 am
by Doc Dan
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-phd-stude ... books.html

This is an interesting experiment to determine exactly what makes a metal, metal. This is interesting to those who are interested in knife steels, like many Spyderco nuts.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:23 am
by attila
Thanks for that fascinating read!

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:00 am
by JRinFL
I thought it was duel lead guitars, long hair, and head banging?

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:44 pm
by Pokey
JRinFL wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:00 am
I thought it was duel lead guitars, long hair, and head banging?
A mullet?

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:48 pm
by Doc Dan
I wonder what Larrin has to say?

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:19 am
by DougC-3
That's interesting. I was a little surprised that they said "only metals are able to conduct electricity." If they meant that literally, I guess that means that distilled water, people, etc, have enough metal ions in solution to qualify :D

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:16 am
by Larrin
I didn’t understand from this article what they were trying to do exactly. Defining what a metal is Is fuzzy because of all the different definitions used, most elements on the periodic table are in fact metals but there are lots of fuzzy boundaries. A journal article would probably make more sense. The whole angle on discovering what a metal is might just be a spin to give broader appeal to a pretty specific experiment.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:29 am
by RustyIron
DougC-3 wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:19 am
I was a little surprised that they said "only metals are able to conduct electricity." If they meant that literally, I guess that means that distilled water, people, etc, have enough metal ions in solution to qualify :D
I am by no means knowledgable on the atomic structure of metals... but then again... nobody is. That's why this avenue of inquiry has the potential to be so revolutionary.

But the reason I'm typing is because your basic premise is flawed. Distilled water is a pretty awful conductor of electricity. It's pretty easy to prove via experiment using household stuff.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:37 am
by Doc Dan
Larrin wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:16 am
I didn’t understand from this article what they were trying to do exactly. Defining what a metal is Is fuzzy because of all the different definitions used, most elements on the periodic table are in fact metals but there are lots of fuzzy boundaries. A journal article would probably make more sense. The whole angle on discovering what a metal is might just be a spin to give broader appeal to a pretty specific experiment.
I think the article is not written well enough. I am intrigued by the science of determining exactly what a metal is. This was a topic when I took chemistry so many years ago.

It would be interesting to look at the actual experiment.

What is your take on this? What defines "metal"?

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:17 am
by Larrin
I honestly don’t remember spending much time on defining what a metal is in materials or metallurgy courses. Maybe it is a question more chemists or physicists spend time on.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:57 pm
by dj moonbat
What I want to know is how they make those shiny things you put around a Hot Pocket to make ‘em crispy without using metal.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:18 pm
by soc_monki
dj moonbat wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:57 pm
What I want to know is how they make those shiny things you put around a Hot Pocket to make ‘em crispy without using metal.
It's magic. That's the only explanation. The hot pocket guys must have wizards on staff.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:58 pm
by Larrin
dj moonbat wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:57 pm
What I want to know is how they make those shiny things you put around a Hot Pocket to make ‘em crispy without using metal.
I think "crispy" may be a bit of an exaggeration.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:43 pm
by Xplorer
dj moonbat wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:57 pm
What I want to know is how they make those shiny things you put around a Hot Pocket to make ‘em crispy without using metal.
:D Vacuum deposition aluminum on a food safe PP laminate applied to a heavy paper backing.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:34 pm
by Bloke
Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:37 am
when I took chemistry
Image

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:37 pm
by James Y
Bloke wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:34 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:37 am
when I took chemistry
Image
😂

Jim

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:53 pm
by cali
IMO a much better explanation of the experiment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv_enhLIea8

It is all about forming band structure in metals, not about determining what a metal is. Can't relate in to knives though.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:31 pm
by Doc Dan
Bloke wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:34 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:37 am
when I took chemistry
Image
Hahahaha! One of my profs blew up the lab with a super strong base.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:53 pm
by JacksonKnives
Doc Dan wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:37 am
I am intrigued by the science of determining exactly what a metal is. This was a topic when I took chemistry so many years ago.
It's important to remember that a technical definition like "metal" is fairly arbitrary. The topic for discussion is not really "what is metal?" but rather "in what way is 'metal' actually a useful category to talk about?"

"Science" (verifiable human knowledge, or the process or enterprise of growing that knowledge) cannot teach you the definitions of "metal." Experiments can help you learn about properties, and help you find ways some materials are more or less alike, but to decide what gets called "metal" you need to get scientists to agree on a useful definition that they will actually use.

If this student is trying to find out more about solvating electrons in exotic compounds, good for him, but it can't really change the definition of metal unless the findings allow for an entirely new way of looking at elements that replaces all the old definitions.

Imagine someone said "I'm going to use science to prove that a drop point blade is actually a clip point." Those names are not scientific facts. Science can't tell us what to call a knife. You could make a good argument based on scientific comparison, but that doesn't dictate definitions we use all by itself, the definition also has to work well for the people who will use it.

Re: What makes a metal a metal

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:31 am
by BornIn1500
Larrin wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:16 am
The whole angle on discovering what a metal is might just be a spin to give broader appeal to a pretty specific experiment.
A spin to get a piece of that juicy government grant money funneled to the school, which funded this study.