PerspectiveMaterials Science

Fluctuations in Plasticity at the Microscale

Science  26 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5777, pp. 1151-1152
DOI: 10.1126/science.1127729

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During deformation, microscale materials may flow or change shape abruptly as atomic-scale defects migrate and assemble. The abrupt episodes of deformation appear to have a power-law distribution, a finding that may help in the design of miniature devices.