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Latest Van der Waals force Stories

2013-07-19 16:01:37

For a car to accelerate there has to be friction between the tire and the surface of the road. The amount of friction generated depends on numerous factors, including the minute intermolecular forces acting between the two surfaces in contact – so-called van der Waals forces. The importance of these intermolecular interactions in generating friction has long been known, but has now been demonstrated experimentally for the first time by a research team led by Physics...

How Do Geckos Deal With Wet Feet
2012-08-16 11:04:31

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Geckos are unique little creatures, having the ability to cling to almost any dry surface. They seem to be just as happy scampering through tropical rainforest canopies as they are in urban settings, explains Alyssa Stark, from the University of Akron, USA. "A lot of work is done on geckos that looks at the very small adhesive structures on their toes to really understand how the system works at the most basic level", says Stark. She...

2012-05-19 00:15:35

For two molecules on blind date, new method predicts potential for attraction or repulsion Krzysztof Szalewicz, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, and Rafal Podeszwa of the University of Silesia Institute of Chemistry in Poland have developed and validated a more accurate method for predicting the interaction energy of large molecules, such as biomolecules used to develop new drugs. The research is reported as a communication in the April 27 issue of the...

2012-01-12 20:51:59

Physicists at Linköping University have shown that a dose of hydrogen or helium can render the "super material" graphene even more useful. Graphene has engendered high expectations whereof its extreme properties depend on the fact that it consists of a single sheet of carbon atoms. However the attraction forces between the atoms cause the sheets to be drawn to each other. One solution is to add atomic hydrogen between the layers. Presented in the eminent journal Physical...

Gecko-inspired Tank Robot
2011-11-01 09:55:38

[ Watch the Video ] Researchers have developed a tank-like robot that has the ability to scale smooth walls, opening up a series of applications ranging from inspecting pipes, buildings, aircraft and nuclear power plants to deployment in search and rescue operations. Their study, published today, 1 November, in IOP Publishing's journal Smart Materials and Structures, is the first to apply this unique, bioinspired material to a robot that operates in a tank-like manner. This method...

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2011-01-26 10:17:26

Measuring the attractive forces between atoms and surfaces with unprecedented precision, University of Arizona physicists have produced data that could refine our understanding of the structure of atoms and improve nanotechnology. The discovery has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters. Van der Waals forces are fundamental for chemistry, biology and physics. However, they are among the weakest known chemical interactions, so they are notoriously hard to study. This force is so...

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2010-10-16 09:30:00

Humidity softens setae to tighten gecko's gripHuman adhesives are famed for their fallibility. Gooey glues soon lose their grip, are easily contaminated and leave residues behind. But not gecko feet. Geckos can cling on repeatedly to the smoothest surfaces thanks to the self-cleaning microscopic spatula-shaped hairs (setae) that coat the soles of their feet. Back in 2002, Kellar Autumn found that these dry hairs are in such intimate contact with surfaces that the reptiles 'glue' themselves on...

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2010-08-26 11:20:00

The science behind gecko toes holds the answer to a dry adhesive that provides an ideal grip for robot feet. Stanford mechanical engineer Mark Cutkosky is using the new material, based on the structure of a gecko foot, to keep his robots climbing. A Stanford mechanical engineer is using the biology of a gecko's sticky foot to create a robot that climbs. In the same way the small reptile can scale a wall of slick glass, the Stickybot can climb smooth surfaces with feet modeled on the intricate...

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2010-06-24 10:19:42

Over the past couple of decades, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as a powerful tool for imaging surfaces at astonishing resolutions"”fractions of a nanometer in some cases. But suppose you're more concerned with what lies below the surface? Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have shown that under the right circumstances, surface science instruments such as the AFM can deliver valuable data about sub-surface conditions. Their recently...

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2010-02-13 08:55:00

Researchers move one step closer to nature with the development of polymers and directional adhesion that follow the workings of a gecko's foot Nanotechnology has not only brought nature and engineering closer together; it has encouraged collaboration among researchers of different disciplines. In one such collaboration, two researchers drew on the extraordinary stickiness of a gecko's foot to develop a synthetic adhesive to help robots scale walls. NSF-funded researchers Mark Cutkosky, an...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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