STUDIES OF MATERIALS: NEW ASPECTS
 
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What we call science, or studies of materials are on the brink of a scientific revolution which has been ushered in by the unprecedented progress in physics, chemistry and biology in the latter half of the 20th century. As we remember, following the "met-aUurgjcalboom" of the 1930s and 1940s and the breakthroughs in the development of semiconductors (1950s-1960s) which brought about the computer revolution, scientists focused their attention on bioorganics and nanotechnologies. This was followed by the use of synchrotrons in studies of materials. These studies pave the way for the development of materials of a new generation, and are backed by subsidies of billions of dollars provided by the governments of many countries. An interesting view on this field of scientific and technological progress has been expressed by Alexander Shubnikov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute of Crystallography named after Shubnikov (IKAN), in an article published in the EXPERT journal. In his view a powerful impetus for a breakthrough in this field of modern research has been provided by radio communications and radiology. As early as in the 1930s and 1940s Academician Shubnikov, an outstanding Soviet physicist and crystallographer, carried out studies on piezoeffect in crystals. At first sight the phenomenon looks fairly simple. When a crystal is compressed along one of its axes an electric charge is produced upon it. And the other way round-when an electric field is applied to a crystal it undergoes deformation. These abstract results of experiments generated some very practical results: it turned out that the above piezoeffect can provide the basis for the whole of radio communications and radar technology. When Acad. Shubnikov published his results, they received a high assessment of the Soviet military experts who began building an infrastructure for the development of this branch of research. The academic Institute of Crystallog ... Читать далее
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