Corrosion resistance and high strength put stainless steel high on the list of essential materials for satellite and rocket designers. Now, ESA plans to investigate an alternative, environmental-friendly method of readying this important metal.
For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: instead of climbing...
From the most parched areas of Saudi Arabia to water-scarce areas of the western U.S., the idea...
Chips that use light rather than electricity to move data would consume much less power— and energy efficiency is a growing concern as chips’ transistor counts rise. Now, researchers are describing a new technique for building molybdenum disulfide light emitters tuned to different frequencies, an essential requirement for optoelectronic chips.
Researchers have developed a chin strap that can harvest energy from jaw movements. It is hoped that the device can generate electricity from eating, chewing and talking, and power a number of small-scale implantable or wearable electronic devices, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, electronic hearing protectors and communication devices.
Scientists who created a deicing film for radar domes have now refined the technology to work as a transparent coating for glass. The new work could keep glass surfaces from windshields to skyscrapers free of ice and fog while retaining their transparency to radio frequencies.
Transmission of bacterial infections, including MRSA and MSSA, could be curbed by coating hospital surfaces with microscopic bumps that mimic the scaly surface of shark skin.
Computer-driven cars have been testing their skills on California roads for more than four years— but until now, the DMV wasn't sure just how many were rolling around. That changed this week, when the agency issued testing permits that allowed three companies to dispatch 29 vehicles onto freeways and into neighborhoods— with a human behind the wheel in case the onboard computers make a bad decision.
The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable technology to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. A team of researchers has identified a potential candidate for use in small-scale electronics: a molecule called picene.
Researchers have found a new way, using ultrathin aluminum oxide, to control the properties of quantum dots, those tiny chunks of semiconductor material that glow different colors depending on their size.
Heat drives classical phase transitions— solid, liquid and gas— but much stranger things can happen when the temperature drops. If phase transitions occur at the coldest temperatures, where quantum mechanics reigns, subtle fluctuations can dramatically transform a material. Now, scientists have explored this landscape of absolute zero to isolate and probe these quantum phase transitions with precision.
The very idea of fibers made of carbon nanotubes is neat, but scientists are making them neater— literally. The single-walled carbon nanotubes in new fibers line up like a fistful of uncooked spaghetti through a process designed by a chemist and his colleagues.
Researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they’ve successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah— a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run where it bounded across grass at a steady clip.
A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it’s not the source many people may have feared. What’s more, the problem may be fixable with improved construction standards for cement well linings and casings at hydraulic fracturing sites.
Researchers have devised a new simulation technique that reliably predicts the structure and behavior of different materials, in order to accelerate the development of next-generation batteries for a wide range of applications.
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought– and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated.
Two engineering students were so chilled by the polar vortex last winter that they decided to take matters into their own hands by inventing the world's first intelligent, heated base layer. In just six months, the pair founded a company, FuelWear, and created a feather-light, washable and snuggly undershirt they call the Flame Base Layer.
The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. Now, new math explains the dynamics of fluid systems that mimic many peculiarities of quantum mechanics.
Researchers have shown the use of sound to communicate with an artificial atom. They can thereby demonstrate phenomena from quantum physics with sound taking on the role of light.
Astronauts are studying how fires burn in microgravity and how to put them out. It's a basic safety issue: if a fire ever breaks out onboard a spacecraft, astronauts need to be able to control it.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected a senior federal expert's recommendation to shut down California's last operating nuclear power plant until the agency can determine whether its twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults. In a decision, the agency concluded there is no immediate or significant safety concern at the Diablo Canyon plant.
A team of researchers has discovered a way to cool electrons to -228 C without external means and at room temperature, an advancement that could enable electronic devices to function with very little energy. The process involves passing electrons through a quantum well to cool them and keep them from heating.
An algorithm, tested aboard the International Space Station, analyzes the rotation of objects in space. Understanding how objects are spinning, where their centers of mass are and how their mass is distributed is crucial to any number of actual or potential space missions, from cleaning up debris in the geosynchronous orbit favored by communications satellites to landing a demolition crew on a comet.
Wireless researchers have found a way to make the most of the unused UHF TV spectrum by serving up fat streams of data over wireless hotspots that could stretch for miles.
A smart headlight enables drivers to take full advantage of their high beams without fear of blinding oncoming drivers or suffering from the glare that can occur when driving in snow or rain at night. The programmable headlight senses and tracks virtually any number of oncoming drivers, blacking out only the small parts of the headlight beam that would otherwise shine into their eyes.
In the typical textbook picture, volcanoes, such as those that are forming the Hawaiian islands, erupt when magma gushes out as narrow jets from deep inside Earth. But that picture is wrong, according to a new study from researchers. New seismology data are confirming that such narrow jets don't actually exist.
A new map identifies areas where animals are likely to be infected with the Ebola virus as a first step toward understanding where future outbreaks of the disease may occur. The map, based on a model created by scientists, predicts that in animal populations the Ebola virus is likely to be circulating across a vast swathe of forested Central and West Africa.
Scientists have married two unconventional forms of carbon– one shaped like a soccer ball, the other a tiny diamond– to make a molecule that conducts electricity in only one direction. This tiny electronic component, known as a rectifier, could play a key role in shrinking chip components down to the size of molecules to enable faster, more powerful devices.
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