Advertisement

Science

Space

NASA taps Aerojet Rocketdyne for new space propulsion system

In anticipation of future deep-space missions, NASA has awarded a US$67 million, 36-month contract to Redmond, Washington-based Aerojet Rocketdyne to design and develop an Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS). Based on previous ion thrusters like prototype NEXT and the Dawn mission to the asteroid Ceres, the new propulsion system could used to supply a future manned Mars mission.Read More

Science

Laser-fueled vortex creates nanotube forest

While small in size, carbon nanotubes can be mighty in their applications. But manipulating carbon nanotubes can be tricky, considering that their diameter is about 50,000 times smaller than a human hair. Researchers at Purdue University have just come up with a way to force carbon nanotubes to get in line – literally – by using electrical pulses and a vortex created by laser light.Read More

Energy

Nanowire battery electrode powers through hundreds of thousands of charge cycles

With high conductivity and a large surface area, nanowires have become quite the candidate for an advanced battery material. But at thousands of times thinner than a human hair, their delicate nature often causes them to fracture throughout the battery cycle. By designing a nanowire-based electrode with a special protective coating, researchers now claim to have overcome this limitation, which could lead to batteries able to withstand hundreds of thousands of recharge cycles.Read More

Materials

Coal-based electronics: A potential usurper to silicon's throne?

Graphene may be the poster child of thin film electronics, and silicon the current king of materials for semiconductors, but if scientists from MIT get their way, graphene's humble cousin, coal, could soon be giving them both a run for their money. For the first time, electronic devices have been created from thin films of coal and the research points to a range of uses that this cheap and abundant material could have in electronic devices, solar panels, and batteries.Read More

Environment

Off color: 93% of Great Barrier Reef struck by mass coral bleaching event

Last month, an aerial survey of the northern section of Australia's Great Barrier Reef returned some pretty grim results, finding that the World Heritage Site had been hit with the worst coral bleaching event in its history. The researchers have now continued their work along this magnificent stretch of coastline and the news isn't getting any better. The results of their end-to-end study now reveal that 93 percent of the reef has been affected by bleaching as a result of warmer sea temperatures in the area.Read More

Materials

Metamaterial paves way for thermophotovoltaic cells that generate electricity in the dark

Using a new optical magnetic metamaterial claimed to have revolutionary properties, physicists from the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have produced a prototype device that could be used in super-efficient thermophotovoltaic cells. These cells do not need direct sunlight to generate electricity, but instead absorb infrared radiation to convert to electric current and, unlike conventional photovoltaic cells, can do so even in the dark.Read More

Science

Scientists pinpoint where in the brain we process facial expressions

Recognizing facial expressions is something that we do naturally, without any thought. However, whenever we smile or frown, or express any number of emotions using our faces, we move a large number of muscles in a complex manner. While we're not conscious of it, when you're looking at someone making a facial expression, there's a whole part of our brains that deals with decoding the information conveyed by those muscles. Now, researchers at the Ohio State University have worked to pinpoint exactly where in the brain that processing occurs. Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning

    Advertisement