Ancient proteins offer clues to the past

Archeologists once relied solely on artifacts, such as skeletal remains, fossils and pottery sherds, to learn about past species and cultures. Today's scientists can also study ancient proteins to paint a more complete picture ...

Stop aging in space

Wrinkles, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a clumsy brain are all natural consequences of getting old. As our cells rust over time, a key to fighting chronic disease may be in tiny, smartly designed particles that have ...

Image: Smart particles

Down to the microscopic level, nanoparticles show promising properties. A team of experts in Italy has spent years tailoring tiny inorganic materials and analysing their behaviour. Some have magnetic properties, others are ...

High-tech material in a salt crust

MAX phases are viewed as promising materials for the future, for example, in the power, aerospace and medical implants industries. A new method developed by scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich now makes it possible ...

New method opens the way for cutting tools with longer lifetime

Researchers at Linköping University, LiU, have developed a theoretical model that enables simulations for showing what happens in hard cutting materials as they degrade. The model will enable manufacturing industries to ...

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Ceramic

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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