Matter & Energy
Kirigami In Gold Foil: Demonstrating The Potential Of 4D Nano-Manufacturing
Kirigami is a form of art in which paper is deformed and bent into the desired shape. Originating in Japan, it is similar to origami, with the exception that cutting is also permitted in this discipline.
The principles of kirigami can also be applied to the cutting or impression of patterns into thin layers of metals, most often gold. This has been one of the goals of physicists as the results from this technique can be used to bend light at the nanoscale, and also to prove that such precise work is possible.
Next-Generation Power: Is Fusion Back On The Table?
Nuclear fusion was once thought of as the ‘holy grail’ of energy-generation and delivery. This kind of reaction involves the formation of two- or three-atom molecules of pure hydrogen, then pressing these together to form new atoms of helium, most often. Fusion has potentially desirable side-effects, such as the release of energy in the form of heat at astronomical temperatures.
The Musical Instruments Revolution: Quantum Drum That Can Vibrate And Be Still, Simultaneously
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein
Scientists have created a tiny drum that can vibrate and stand still, simultaneously. A team of researchers from the UK and Australia has developed a novel technique that could help understand the boundary between the quantum world and our everyday, classical, world.
Cost-Effective Technique Of Harnessing Uranium From Seawater For Nuclear Power
Uranium is a heavy metal that is found in nature as U-238 and U-235, and in traces, as U-234. Since the half-life of this element is about 4.5 billion years, it has been useful in determining the age of the Earth. Past research has also indicated that some radioactive isotopes of uranium could possess nuclear properties and cause radiolysis on other planets too.
Hybrid Junctions: The Future Of Photovoltaics?
If they were asked to think of a material to make solar cells, professionals might be inclined to think of perovskite - a mineral strongly associated with photovoltaics or electronics that are activated by light or store it in the form of energy (mostly as sunlight).
What Do Atomic Nuclei Really Look Like? Theoretical Physicists Bring Us Closer To The Answer Than Ever Before
What do atoms really look like in nature?
We tend to visualize these particles as electrons orbiting a spherical nucleus in defined, concentric shells, like the diagrams seen in many chemistry and physics textbooks.
Element Ruthenium: Theoretically-Magnetic To Ferromagnetic
There are very few pure elements that have magnetic properties. This limits the options for those in the areas of engineering, manufacturing, and electronics. It may also put pressure on the reserves of those elements known to have magnetism (or ferromagnetism, as it is technically termed) – i.e., iron, nickel, and cobalt.
However, a new paper in Nature Communications has claimed that element ruthenium exhibited these desirable properties in a new experimental conformation.
Nanocarbon Spiral: Chemical Research Twists Graphene Into A New Shape
Graphene is a material that could serve as the semiconductor of the future. It is a matrix of carbon atoms that exhibits exceptional properties as an electronics component, thanks to its remarkable physicochemical structure.
Magnetic Nanoparticles Can Stop Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding should be taken seriously, and not just because it could indicate signs of severe trauma. This form of hemorrhage, which occurs in blood vessels far away from the skin (e.g., between internal organs) can deprive tissues affected of nutrients and oxygen, thus, increasing the risk of adverse events such as ischemia or necrosis.
Green Tech: Don’t Wait For ‘Goldilocks’ Product, Say Researchers
Many of us may be considering adopting or investing in the emerging low-carbon solutions in the market, so as to save both money and the environment. However, we may also be waiting for that perfect piece of technology or innovation that is definitely going to giving us our money's worth.
New Semiconductor Is Super-Flexible But Only In Darkness
Inorganic semiconductors are potentially useful in many areas of electronics and industry. Unfortunately, they tend to be disadvantaged in their reduced flexibility or plasticity. Therefore, they can snap or break apart under the forces necessary to form or bend them.
Nanowood: Super-Insulator Of The Future?
Storm Emma, which occurred in early 2018 in the UK, may have stressed the importance of heat conservation for the many people affected by it.
Modern dwellings can be insulated by incorporating thin sheets of aerogel or Styrofoam into building shells during construction. However, these materials are synthetic and can represent environmental damage in their manufacture or disposal.
Time Crystals Found Not Just In Complex Compounds
If scientists from the future were to be asked about the significant discoveries of the 2010s, the term 'time crystal' would probably be at the top of that list.
Time crystals are solid compounds in which some atoms have been observed to "tick" regularly when exposed to electromagnetic fields.
The definition may sound a little underwhelming. However, it is the first example of atoms behaving in this manner.
In addition, time crystals may have many important roles in the electronics and engineering of the future.
Scottish Researchers Develop ‘Laser-Eyes’
A team of Scottish scientists has developed a type of laser that is thin enough to be integrated into contact lenses.
However, those hoping to emulate their favorite Marvel character with super-ocular powers could be disappointed! The type of light the putative 'laser contacts' was designed to emit is more likely to turn someone into an authorized individual with easily-scanned credentials rather than an artificial X-man.
High-Tech Hair Dye: Graphene As A Potential Non-Toxic Hair Colorant
Coloring one's hair is a regular personal care routine for many people. It is often used as an avenue to self-expression or as a way to stand out from the crowd. However, the actual process of coloring is not usually a favorite chore.
Most commercial hair dyes have the disadvantage of being potentially irritating, damaging to property or surfaces and smelling to a horrific degree. Even newer formulations contain chemicals that could be toxic to the environment at their disposal.
New Thin-Layer Device Reclaims Waste Heat From Electronics
Up to 70% of the electrical energy generated per year in the United States is wasted. This could be owed to the fact that the energy comes in the form of heat, which is then allowed to escape from its sources such as electronics, vehicles or industrial appliances.
For example, you may find that your phone heats up more when gaming or running heavy-load apps. This phenomenon is known as waste heat. New inventions or developments that could re-purpose more waste heat would be welcome, as doing so could cut down on overall energy use.
Don’t Sweat It! New Bioengineering Method Improves Sweat-Based Health Tracking
Sweat is a surprisingly rich seam of biological information that can help track prevalent health metrics such as blood glucose and stress levels. It can be used to detect blood alcohol levels too.
However, getting samples of the fluid is not as easy as it sounds. Typically, people don't have as much conscious control over supplying a sweat sample as they might have with some other bodily fluids.
Health tracking through sweat collection and analysis could be more convenient and amenable to everyday life than traditional methods.
Dutch Scientists Develop World’s First Platinum Magnet
Platinum is a mid-table, stable, white metal prized for its use in jewelry and electronics. The metal has excellent conductive properties in addition to its good looks.
However, the metal does not have other beneficial properties, thus limiting its use and value. For example, no form of platinum has ever been magnetic...that is, until now.
This New Type Of Coating Material Can Repel Almost Every Liquid
Everyday appliances, especially cell phones, tend to slip and fall into dangerously sticky and disgusting places, quite often — think washrooms, the kitchen, or public places!
Stats reveal that, on average, a large percentage of smartphone owners damage their devices by dropping it. An interesting observation also found that 28% drop their mobiles into a liquid (usually water), and about 8% spill food/drink on their phones.
In all fairness, most electronics such as cameras, lenses, and laptops, are susceptible to irreparable damage.
First Tesla Solar Roof for Private Homes Now Operational
People who have taken to the idea of alternative energy and are considering using it as a power source may be interested in this piece of news:
Tesla, the popular electric car manufacturer, has been designing solar roof tiles, and they are now available to consumers in California! These branded panels, when installed, absorb power from the sun and convert it into electricity for homes.