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Latest Xuanhe Zhao Stories

2012-10-24 12:05:33

For the first time, scientists have observed how droplets within solids deform and burst under high electric voltages. This is important, the Duke University engineers who made the observations said, because it explains a major reason why such materials as insulation for electrical power lines eventually fail and cause blackouts. This observation not only helps scientists develop better insulation materials, but could also lead to such positive developments as "tunable" lenses for eyes....

Process Makes Polymers Truly Plastic
2012-03-16 03:21:58

Just as a chameleon changes its color to blend in with its environment, Duke University engineers have demonstrated for the first time that they can alter the texture of plastics on demand, for example, switching back and forth between a rough surface and a smooth one. By applying specific voltages, the team has also shown that it can achieve this control over large and curved surface areas. "By changing the voltage applied to the polymer, we can alter the surface from bumpy to smooth...

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2011-03-05 11:51:38

A Duke University team has seen for the first time how soft polymers, such as wire insulation, can break down under exposure to electrical current.Researchers have known for decades that polymers, such those insulating wires, may break down due to deformation of the polymers. But the process had never been seen.In a series of experiments, Duke University engineers have documented at the microscopic level how plastic deforms to breakdown as it is subjected to ever-increasing electric voltage....


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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