So just how heat-resistant are the highly-engineered materials developed for use in things like jet engines, nuclear reactors, and gas turbines? Tough enough to change the meaning of the old saying, “a snowball’s chance in hell.” Apparently, its odds are quite good of surviving—when dressed appropriately.
Aerogel is usually the preserve of expensive laboratory experiments—but what if you could make it from trash? Now, a team of researchers has developed a technique to turn scrap paper into an incredibly light, highly insulating super material.
This morning, Flint’s mayor announced an ambitious plan to replace the damaged and dangerous drinking water infrastructure below the city’s streets—and work can begin as soon as next month.
In modern cities, there’s concrete at every turn. So it might surprise you to hear that, until now at least, we haven’t really understood how it works at the microscopic level—despite the fact that we trust it to build huge structures.
Imagine a world where robots creep up on you: Electric motors just a gentle whir, hard shells changing color to blend in with their surroundings. Well, there’s no need to imagine—it’s happened.
Bendable devices may still be a little way off, but a new kind of ceramic that is flexible in the same way as paper could certainly help speed things along.
Transistors are everywhere—in your computer, car, phone, and refrigerator—but they’re not shrinking fast enough to satisfy our hunger for ever-faster devices. A new kind of light-based transistor might just fix that.
This looks like the kind of thin material you might make a trash bag out of. But that would be a waste because this material, made from carbon nanotubes, is stronger and more compliant than kevlar or carbon fiber.
Ask most robots to pick up an egg and you end up with... a broken egg. But this pair of automated fingers uses an incredibly delicate thin film and some simple physics to grasp fragile objects with relative ease.
“It may take us a little longer than we said to do this” was the update Dan Richard, chairman of California’s high-speed rail project, gave state legislators yesterday. But the insane infrastructure plan could, shockingly, be less of a cash suck than expected.
This oak leaf has a secret. Rather than creating energy via photosynthesis, it can pump out electricity—because it’s actually a battery.
If you were upset at the news that Spider-Man is an impossible dream, don’t despair. A set of gecko gloves created by a Stanford researcher make the ability possible once more.
A new form of matter, in which electrical charge swirls in a vortex, has been observed in a ferroelectric material. The discovery could usher in new kinds of memory and processors that take up far less space.
Who needs metal when you’re surrounded by water? Mitsubishi has announced a rather quirky new way to transmit and receive data, by creating what it claims is the first ever working antenna to be made out of seawater.
While 3D printing has yet to fully prove itself to some people, that doesn’t stop scientists from pushing on with 4D printing—a similar process that creates objects able to transform themselves over time. Now, a Harvard lab has produced these delicate folding flowers using the approach.
The process of identifying cancer—from taking a sample of a tumor to getting the results back from a laboratory—can be long-winded. When there isn’t time for all that, this new hand-held microscope could help doctors identify cancer cells in just a few moments.
If we’ve learned one thing from breathy concept designs and cheesy sci-fi movies, it’s that we all deserve flexible technologies: bio-electric tattoos that measure our vitals and tablets we can roll up to shove in our pockets.
If we want to someday live on Mars, spaceships won’t be enough. We would need a Martian city—and this is how we might build one.