Engineering

New computer program predicts crack initiation in 3-D

Most structures and materials have defects, and if the conditions are right, these defects can lead to the initiation and propagation of cracks. Finding out where and with what orientation a surface crack is most likely to ...

Engineering

How fire causes office-building floors to collapse

Engineers and technicians at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) spent months meticulously recreating the long concrete floors supported by steel beams commonly found in high-rise office buildings, only ...

Structure

Structure is a fundamental and sometimes intangible notion covering the recognition, observation, nature, and stability of patterns and relationships of entities. From a child's verbal description of a snowflake, to the detailed scientific analysis of the properties of magnetic fields, the concept of structure is an essential foundation of nearly every mode of inquiry and discovery in science, philosophy, and art.

A structure defines what a system is made of. It is a configuration of items. It is a collection of inter-related components or services. The structure may be a hierarchy (a cascade of one-to-many relationships) or a network featuring many-to-many relationships.

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