Looking to sea urchins for stronger ceramic foams

Ling Li, assistant professor in Virginia Tech's Department of Mechanical Engineering, has unlocked a mystery in the porous microstructures of sea urchin exoskeletons that could lead to the creation of lightweight synthetic ...

Search for clues may explain collapse of ancient city in Mexico

Built more than a thousand years before the Aztec arrived in central Mexico, Teotihuacan was once one of the largest cities in the world. Its stone temples, comparable in size to Egypt's pyramids, still draw fascinated visitors, ...

A 3,400-year-old city emerges from the Tigris River

A team of German and Kurdish archaeologists have uncovered a 3,400-year-old Mittani Empire-era city once located on the Tigris River. The settlement emerged from the waters of the Mosul reservoir early this year as water ...

Iodine successfully tested in satellite ion thrusters

A team of researchers from ThrustMe, working with colleagues from Sorbonne Université, has successfully tested the use of iodine as an ionizing agent in an ion-thrusting spacecraft engine. In their paper published in the ...

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A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous (e.g., a glass). Because most common ceramics are crystalline, the definition of ceramic is often restricted to inorganic crystalline materials, as opposed to the noncrystalline glasses.

The earliest ceramics were pottery[citation needed] objects or 27000 year old figurines made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials, hardened in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create a colored, smooth surface. Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products and art objects. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering; for example, in semiconductors.

The word "ceramic" comes from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos), "of pottery" or "for pottery", from κέραμος (keramos), "potter's clay, tile, pottery". The earliest mention on the root "ceram-" is the Mycenaean Greek ke-ra-me-we, "workers of ceramics", written in Linear b syllabic script. "Ceramic" may be used as an adjective describing a material, product or process; or as a singular noun, or, more commonly, as a plural noun, "ceramics".

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