Generally speaking, wood is often put into one of two categories- hardwood and softwood. But what exactly makes a given piece of wood qualify as either hard or soft and how did those definitions come about? »
It might look like some kind of food wrap, but this roll of red rubber is rather more special than that: it’s a new flexible material that creates electricity as it deforms.
A master optician sounds like some form of wizardry but that’s basically what Peter Thelin, master optician at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is. He can make telescopes and microscopes and pretty much turn and shape and hand-polish any and all optical materials in his lab. It’s fun to hear him talk about his… »
Ubiquitous in many classrooms since the 19th century, chalk and chalkboards are familiar to most of us. White, powdery and prone to sticking to those surfaces where it is put (and just as easy to wipe away), chalk and its accompanying board are excellent instructional aids. Notably, however, most chalk today isn’t… »
This looks like a fairly normal piece of stainless steel mesh—but it's coated with a special substance which allows it to block oil while allowing water through. »
Creating truly flexible electronics requires applying super-thin layers of conducting materials to already bendable materials—but doing so accurately is difficult. Now, a new form of inkjet printing can allow scientists to deposit thin layers of liquid metal into neat, stretchable circuits.
A new light bulb that's made using graphene will go on sale later this year, according to its developers—and it's said to be the first commercially viable consumer product to use the supermaterial. »
This isn't a new kind of tooth rotter, but an exotic new breed of nanoribbon and nanoplate semiconductors. Made from silicon telluride, they may go on to be used in the batteries of the future. »
Bullet-proof protection may be about to get more bullet proof. A team of researchers has created a new kind of nanofiber that can extend to seven times its original length—and is tougher than kevlar, too. »
Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous—as is their gradual degradation over the lifetime of a gadget. Now, using a new imaging technique, a team of researchers shows what happens deep within li-on cells as they charge and discharge. »
Construction teams around the world rely on bitumen—an incredibly sticky by-product of crude oil production—as the main binding agent for asphalt. But a team of scientists reckon that a compound found within plants could help replace it, making road-building a greener, more sustainable practice. »
When I was a kid, my parents had a collection of historic old, yellowed newspapers. For example, I distinctly remember an oldWashington Post newspaper sitting on a bookshelf from July 21, 1969 with the headline "The Eagle Has Landed – Two Men Walk on the Moon." Or a fading, brownish-yellow one from August 8, 1974 with… »
The wheels that will hopefully power the Bloodhound SSC car to speeds of over 1,000mph are now in production, with four of the finest aluminium alloy wheels being carved to extremely precise shape. »