Advertisement

Colin Jeffrey

Colin Jeffrey

Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf.

Follow Colin:

— 3D Printing

Wacky tape gun produces life-size CAD-assisted wireframe models

Using a handheld packing tape dispenser gun that has been modified to fold, extrude, and cut tape into tubes, a team of researchers from the Hasso-Plattner-Insitut (HPI) at the University of Potsdam has created a method of transferring computer-generated wire-frames to the real world. Dubbed the "Protopiper" by its creators, the device is not only capable of producing full-size outline objects, it is also able to produce hinges, bearings, and axles to give them opening doors, drawers, and movement just like the real things.

Read More
— Materials

Boron-doped graphene to enable ultrasensitive gas sensors

As an atom-thick, two-dimensional material with high conductivity, graphene is set to enable a stream of new electronic devices, including particularly sensitive sensors for the detection of various gases, such as those produced by explosives. Now an international team of researchers led by Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) has created a graphene-boron amalgam that can detect particular gases down to mere parts per billion, and may eventually lead to detectors with such sensitivity that they could detect infinitesimally tiny amounts of gas in the order of parts per quadrillion.

Read More
— Materials

Material that could revolutionize memory storage is magnetic, but not as we know it

Using a type of magnetic insulator material that normally doesn’t conduct electricity, scientists working at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have shown that electric currents can still be made to flow along the borders of the grains within the material. This latest research not only validates a long-held belief that magnetic insulators could be used to conduct electricity, but offers a more tantalizing possibility of creating highly-efficient magnetic memory devices.

Read More
— Environment

Conductive ink significiantly improves the efficiency of solar water heating

Researchers at the Technological Institute of the Lagoon (ITL), Mexico, have created a nanoparticle-rich, superconducting ink that they have used to coat pipes of solar water heaters to increase their efficiency by up to 70 percent. The new coating was recently proven on the solar heating of a Mexican city sports complex swimming pool, where 2 million cubic meters (70.6 million cubic feet) of water were heated from 26 °C to 37 °C (79 °F to 98°F).

Read More
— Physics

New and unusual phase of matter could shed light on high-temperature superconductivity

Physicists working at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered a new phase of matter with a highly unusual arrangement of electrons that could see the creation of innovative electronic devices with novel functionalities never before considered. Not quantifiable as a conventional metal, an insulator, or a type of magnet, this previously unknown state may also help answer a range of fundamental questions in the field of "high-temperature" superconductivity.

Read More
— Energy

Wendelstein 7-x stellarator puts new twist on nuclear fusion power

In a large complex located at Greifswald in the north-east corner of Germany, sits a new and unusual nuclear fusion reactor awaiting a few final tests before being powered-up for the very first time. Dubbed the Wendelstein 7-x fusion stellarator, it has been more than 15 years in the making and is claimed to be so magnetically efficient that it will be able to continuously contain super-hot plasma in its enormous magnetic field for more than 30 minutes at a time. If successful, this new reactor may help realize the long-held goal of continuous operation essential for the success of nuclear fusion power generation.

Read More
— Automotive

Renault Coupé Corbusier concept pays tribute to famous architect

Designers at French automotive manufacturer, Renault, have ceated a concept car to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of France’s best-known 20th century architect Le Corbusier, dubbed the Coupé Corbusier. With a long, high-level hood, a low glasshouse cockpit, and dihedral doors hinged at the rear, the Coupé Corbusier is a melange of geometric shapes and rounded angles that reflect the signature style of the great architect.

Read More
— Environment

New material created from orange peel cleans up mercury pollution

Since the beginning of the industrial age, mercury pollution has increased steadily in our environment, particularly in rivers and oceans. As a result, high-level predators in our waterways often contain very high levels of mercury, and eating fish containing this neurotoxin can lead to serious health issues. Now Australian scientists working at Flinders University have discovered a simple and efficient way to remove mercury from the environment by using a material made from recycled waste citrus peel.

Read More
— Space

Surprise asteroid to give Earth a Halloween flyby

An asteroid designated 2015 TB145 will pass by the Earth at around 1.3 lunar distances (approximately 310,000 miles or about 499,000 km) on October 31 this year. Estimated to be anywhere between 280 to 620 m (918 to 2,034 ft) in diameter and traveling in excess of 126,000 km/h (78,293 mph), the asteroid was discovered less than two weeks ago using the Pan-STARRS array in Hawaii and is the largest object to so closely approach our planet in recent times.

Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement