Grain boundaries and electron microscopy

Grain coarsening is one of the favourite topics for popular discussion for materials scientists (because you can begin your discussion with beer heads and also you can set up some nice experiments with bubble rafts). Here is a viewpoint piece in Physics on the statistical mechanics of grain boundaries:

Thermodynamic arguments and a one-dimensional model help explain why the grain boundaries in an annealed polycrystalline material have an unexpectedly simple statistical distribution.

Electron microscopy is another favourite — microscopes are the eyes with which a physical metallurgist / materials scientist looks at his world. Here is a viewpoint on the electron beam interaction with matter:

To better interpret the information in images, electron microscopists are looking more closely at how an electron beam scatters inside of a specimen.

Both nice pieces — have fun!

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