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2012-05-02 21:01:59

Liquid crystals, the state of matter that makes possible the flat screen technology now commonly used in televisions and computers, may have some new technological tricks in store. Writing today (May 3, 2012) in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Juan J. de Pablo reports the results of a computational study that shows liquid crystals, manipulated at the smallest scale, can...

2012-04-26 09:18:10

Thin-film process boosts bulk alloy's thermoelectric performance The intense interest in harvesting energy from heat sources has led to a renewed push to discover materials that can more efficiently convert heat into electricity. Some researchers are finding those gains by re-designing materials scientists have been working with for years. A team of Boston College and MIT researchers report developing a novel, nanotech design that boosts the thermoelectric performance of a bulk alloy...

2012-04-24 22:44:28

Findings may offer clues to superior performance and guide synthesis of materials with improved properties Detailed studies of one of the best-performing organic photovoltaic materials reveal an unusual bilayer lamellar structure that may help explain the material's superior performance at converting sunlight to electricity and guide the synthesis of new materials with even better properties. The research, published in Nature Communications April 24, 2012, was conducted by scientists at...

2012-04-23 09:35:18

Through a combination of atomic-scale materials design and ultrafast measurements, researchers at the University of Illinois have revealed new insights about how heat flows across an interface between two materials. The researchers demonstrated that a single layer of atoms can disrupt or enhance heat flow across an interface. Their results are published this week in Nature Materials. Improved control of heat exchange is a key element to enhancing the performance of current technologies...

2012-04-18 09:08:09

Researchers are developing a technique that uses nanotechnology to harvest energy from hot pipes or engine components to potentially recover energy wasted in factories, power plants and cars. "The ugly truth is that 58 percent of the energy generated in the United States is wasted as heat," said Yue Wu, a Purdue University assistant professor of chemical engineering. "If we could get just 10 percent back that would allow us to reduce energy consumption and power plant emissions...

2012-04-04 03:16:49

QUT's first foray into space is bound to be a giant step for mankind. Dr Martin Castillo from Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Science and Engineering Faculty, and researcher for the university's micro-gravity drop tower, has partnered with the United States Air Force to fund world-first research into the development of ZBLAN glass. Dr Castillo said the special glass will be the first QUT project to be launched into space. "True ZBLAN glass fibers can only be made in the...

Mother Nature Inspires 1-pound Boat That Could Float 1,000 Pounds
2012-03-26 02:23:42

Combining the secrets that enable water striders to walk on water and give wood its lightness and great strength has yielded an amazing new material so buoyant that, in everyday terms, a boat made from 1 pound of the substance could carry five kitchen refrigerators, about 1,000 pounds. One of the lightest solid substances in the world, which is also sustainable, it was among the topics of a symposium held Sunday at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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