Since it's the weekend and you are reading this, you are intellectually curious about science, which means there is also a statistical likelihood you enjoy beer.
Because of the natural confluence of interests that cause science and beer to go hand-in-hand, we have written a lot of articles about beer
Snake Pliskin, the anti-hero of "Escape From New York", didn't get that name because of his armor, but one day there could be a lot of snake-like soldiers running around.
Soldiers, and certainly civilians that can be be helped in the medical engineering sector, may one day get artificial implants with minimal abrasion, inspired by biology, or armor with all kinds of neat mechanical properties.
Everyone knows insects have adhesion on dry surfaces - the liquid surface tension between air, liquids and solids known as the capillary force. In order to stick to dry surfaces insects use capillary forces with the aid of their oil-covered adhesive setae. The ability to stay on slippery plants after a rain is a bigger mystery, though.
Two summers ago, I was eating fruit in the sun when I noticed that a wasp had found a fragment of my pear on the deck. The piece was only about a centimeter cubed in volume but heavy enough to prevent the wasp’s takeoff. Soon after its unsuccessful straight-up takeoff attempts, the wasp dragged the little pear morsel across the deck for about two and a half meters until it reached the edge. Once off the deck, the wasp was able to fly away with its meal.
If you watched the new "Star Trek" reboot, you had to chuckle when two heroes were plummeting toward terra firma at terminal velocity and were beamed aboard the Enterprise in the nick of time, suffering barely a bump. And that business about hiding behind Titan...okay, maybe that could work.
But that was science fiction, it gets a free pass. Superhero movies, though, had better get it right.
In "Batman Begins", Batman's cape solidifies when a current is passed through it, and it enables him to glide from tall buildings, but that would simply make a big splat, say physicists from the University of Leicester whose paper's press release made it to my inbox just in the nick of time.(1)
When you think of the northern lights (aurora borealis) you don't think of sounds. The famous blues, greens and reds rippling in the sky have been described by visitors and also handed down in stories as long as people have been visiting. Astronomers of King Nebuchadnezzar II documented it in 568 B.C.
But later travelers described sounds to go with the light show.
The lights happen when gas from the sun reaches earth's magnetic field; the charged particles flow along the planet's magnetic lines, but that is too far away for people to hear anything.
Diagnostic tools are getting small, small enough to fit in a person's pocket, and one huge benefit for medical researchers would be a way to easily move and even mix small samples of a liquid.
A newly patented surface moves drops along certain paths - all it takes is a shake.
'The cloud' is so cliché Microsoft even has housewives using it in commercials. All it basically means is that you can have a new way for your data to be hacked and stolen. Unless the company storing it goes out of business and you made no backups. Plus, that's not really a cloud, it's stored in a solid medium, it just happens to be outside your house.
But true cloud storage is on the horizon.
Light signals have been stored as patterns in a room-temperature atomic vapor by scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute. They stored two letters of the alphabet in a cell filled with rubidium (Rb) atoms.
Rockets are powerful stuff, and satellites and astronauts experience tremendous G-forces pushing down on them during launch. For picosatellite work, it is necessary that your design be able to withstand forces equivalent to perhaps 10 times Earth gravity-- 10Gs. To test this, the easiest way is to build a centrifuge.
Think of the spinning bucket gimmick. If you tie a bucket to a rope and fill it with water, you can make the bucket swing in a loop-the-loop over your head and not spill, as long as it is spinning fast enough. You need enough spin to counteract the 1G of the Earth's pull, so you need a spinning centrifuge of at least >1G.
Researchers have discovered a new nanometer-scale atomic structure in solid metallic materials known as metallic glasses, filling a gap in understanding of this atomic structure.
Glasses include all solid materials that have a non-crystalline atomic structure. They lack a regular geometric arrangement of atoms over long distances. "The fundamental nature of a glass structure is that the organization of the atoms is disordered—jumbled up like differently sized marbles in a jar, rather than eggs in an egg carton," says Paul Voyles, a University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor of materials science and engineering and principal investigator on the research.