Of all the scenarios you'd want to find yourself in a heatwave, being barefoot on a hot tin roof would be toward the bottom of the list. These exposed surfaces soak up sunlight to slowly but surely transform into corrugated hotplates, compounding the sweltering ambient temperatures and warming the living space below. But a team of Sydney-based scientists has developed a new material that's claimed capable of keeping a rooftop cooler than the air that surrounds it, saving energy and sweating residents in the process.
Scientific curiosity around how air interacts with the ocean in the event of powerful storms has inspired a number of wind-emulating facilities around the world, from a high-speed wind-wave tank at Kyoto University to the Hydrodynamics Laboratory at Imperial College London. But just as hurricane season kicks off in the US, a team at the University of Miami is looking to step things up a notch. A freshly built indoor tank designed to study category five storms is now open for business, and as the only one of its kind in the world, is hoped to offer a new understanding of these destructive superstorms.
MIT researchers claim to have created a method to better observe fermions – the sub-atomic building blocks of matter – by constructing a microscope capable of viewing them in groups of a thousand at a time. A laser technique is used to herd the fermions into a viewing area and then freeze them in place so all of the captured particles can be imaged simultaneously.
The Planetary Society's LightSail CubeSat has phoned home. After being "paused" a over a week ago due to a software error, the Society reports that the solar sail technology demonstrator has now rebooted itself.
As mobile technology progresses, we're seeing more and more examples of low-cost diagnostic systems
being created for use in developing nations and remote locations. One
of the latest incorporates little more than a smartphone, tablet,
polarizer and box to test body fluid samples for diseases such as
arthritis, cystic fibrosis and acute pancreatitis.
The LightSail solar sail mission has been "paused" due to a software glitch related to a design flaw in the avionics software, which has frozen the onboard computer in a fashion all too familiar to terrestrial technology users.
Commercial passenger spaceflight has gone on the books with Boeing announcing that it's received the first contract ever issued to a private company to carry out a manned space mission. The NASA task order means that Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft will ferry crews to the International Space Station (ISS) on up to six missions.
As electronic devices are becoming outdated at an increasingly fast pace, e-waste continues to be a huge problem.
That's why scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have
started producing "wooden" semiconductor chips that could almost
entirely biodegrade once left in a landfill. As an added bonus, the
chips are also flexible, making them prime candidates for use in
NASA has begun a
comprehensive series of tests for its Mars Interior Exploration using
Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander.
Once on the Red Planet, the lander will operate as a stationary
science platform, attempting to answer a plethora of questions
regarding the interior structure of Mars, and hopefully granting us
some of the information needed to make a manned mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s a reality.
Mankind's most remote
outpost underwent a significant remodel this week, as an entire module
of the International Space Station was relocated in order to make way
for the next generation of American commercial spacecraft. The move
didn't require a spacewalk, with operators instead making use of the
16-m (52-ft) robotic arm to grapple and maneuver the Leonardo,
or Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM).