Shaking light with sound

Piezoelectric materials can convert electrical voltage to mechanical displacement and vice versa. They are ubiquitous in modern wireless communication networks such as in cellphones. Today, piezoelectric devices, including ...

New material mimics strength, toughness of mother of pearl

In the summer, many people enjoy walks along the beach looking for seashells. Among the most prized are those that contain iridescent mother of pearl (also known as nacre) inside. But many beachcombers would be surprised ...

Twisting magnetic fields for extreme plasma compression

A new spin on the magnetic compression of plasmas could improve materials science, nuclear fusion research, X-ray generation and laboratory astrophysics, research led by the University of Michigan suggests.

New materials for extra thin computer chips

Ever smaller and ever more compact—this is the direction in which computer chips are developing, driven by industry. This is why so-called 2-D materials are considered to be the great hope: they are as thin as a material ...

How Venus flytraps snap

Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University ...

Cherned up to the maximum

In topological materials, electrons can display behavior that is fundamentally differentfrom that in 'conventional' matter, and the magnitude of many such 'exotic' phenomena is directly proportional to an entity known as ...

Scientists dive deep into hidden world of quantum states

A research team led by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a technique that could lead to new electronic materials that surpass the limitations imposed by Moore's ...

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Materialism

In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance. To many philosophers, not only is 'physicalism' synonymous with 'materialism', but they use both words to describe a position that supports ideas from physics which may not be matter in the traditional sense (like anti-matter or gravity). Therefore much of the generally philosophical discussion below on materialism may be relevant to physicalism. Also related are the ideas of methodological naturalism (i.e. "let's at least do science as though physicalism is true") and metaphysical naturalism (i.e. "philosophy and science should operate according to the physical world, and that's all that exists"). The philosophical alternatives to materialism are some forms of monism (besides the materialistic monism), dualism and idealism.

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