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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Oct 30, 2020

Study: 1 to 2 million tons of US plastic trash go astray

Posted by in category: materials

The equivalent of as many as 1,300 plastic grocery bags per person is landing in places such as oceans and roadways, according to a new study of U.S. plastic trash.

Oct 30, 2020

The world’s smallest LED will be 3 atoms thick!

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Circa 2015.


LEDs have come a long ways. From the early 70s when a bulky LED watch cost thousands of dollars to LG’s announcement last month that it had created an OLED TV as thin as a magazine, these glowing little bits of magic have become wonderfully cheap and impossibly small. But guess what: they’re about to get much smaller.

A team scientists from the University of Washington just built the world’s thinnest possible LED for use as a light source in electronics. It’s just three atoms thick. No, not three millimeters. Not three nanometers. Three atoms.

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Oct 28, 2020

World’s first-ever graphene hiking boots unveiled

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Circa 2018


The world’s first-ever hiking boots to use graphene have been unveiled by The University of Manchester and British brand inov-8.

Building on the international success of their pioneering use of graphene in trail running and fitness shoes last summer, the brand is now bringing the to a market recently starved of innovation.

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Oct 27, 2020

Swiss Researchers Develop New Material for Wearable Solar Collector

Posted by in categories: materials, wearables

Swiss researchers are getting excited about a polymer that could allow them to incorporate a “flexible solar concentrator” in textile fibres, making it possible to charge personal electronic devices from the clothes their owners wear.

Oct 24, 2020

Boston Dynamics to give Spot a robot arm and charging station

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Boston Dynamics announced that it has developed a robot arm for its “Spot” robot and also a charging station. Both will be available for purchase this spring.

The robot Spot made quite a splash on the internet last year, thanks to its YouTube videos. The four-legged yellow-bodied robot was shown marching its way autonomously and untethered through a wide variety of terrain in ways reminiscent of a dog; hence its name. The robot dog is available for sale. Those interested can purchase one directly from Boston Dynamics for $75,000. CEO Rob Playter told members of the press recently that the company has sold 260 of the robots as of last June. Those robots are currently being tested (and in some cases, used) in mining, healthcare, construction and other sectors—mostly in situations that are dangerous for people. The company has also created a host of add-ons for the robot to assist in a wide variety of applications. The company is now adding to that list by making available both a robot arm and a charging station.

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Oct 23, 2020

NASA Is Losing A Portion Of Its Asteroid Sample

Posted by in categories: materials, space

NASA reports that it’s got a robust sample from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. There is one snafu; gaps in the collecting lid is causing some loss of the pristine material.

Oct 23, 2020

Use your old plastic bottles as the joining material is easy

Posted by in category: materials

Looks like there is another way to use plastic bottles.


Why not use your old plastic bottles as the joining material?

Oct 23, 2020

You’ve Heard of Vantablack. Scientists Just Created ‘Super White’, And It’s Very Cool

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Scientists have created a super white paint that is the yin to Vantablack’s yang.

While ultra black materials can today absorb more than 99.96 percent of sunlight, this new super white coat can reflect 95.5 percent of all the photons that hit it.

Instead of warming up under direct light, objects painted with this new acrylic material can remain cooler than their surrounding temperature even under the Sun, which could allow for a new energy-efficient way to control temperature inside buildings.

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Oct 22, 2020

Supercrystal: A hidden phase of matter created by a burst of light

Posted by in category: materials

Circa 2019


“Frustration” plus a pulse of laser light resulted in a stable “supercrystal” created by a team of researchers led by Penn State and Argonne National Laboratory, together with University of California, Berkeley, and two other national laboratories.

This is one of the first examples of a new state of matter with long-term stability transfigured by the energy from a sub-pico-second laser pulse. The team’s goal, supported by the Department of Energy, is to discover interesting states of matter with unusual properties that do not exist in equilibrium in nature.

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Oct 22, 2020

NASA Shares Photos from ‘Touch-and-Go’ with Asteroid Bennu 200 Million Miles Away

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Photos of touching down on an asteroid.


On Tuesday, October 20th, NASA made history when the OSIRIS-REx mission successfully completed a “touch-and-go” sample collection maneuver with asteroid 101955 Bennu over 200 million miles away from Earth. And now, we have the timelapse to prove it.

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