News in Brief
A new polymer-based paint that reflects nearly all incoming sunlight could help keep buildings, cars, airplanes and other sunbaked structures cool.
This polymer paint, described online September 27 in Science, can be applied to various surfaces, including plastics, metals and wood. It also could be fashioned into recyclable tarpaulins for covering homes, cars or other enclosed spaces....
A new type of soft robot gets its power from the skin it’s in.
Robotic skin that bends, stretches and contracts can wrap around inanimate objects like stuffed animals, foam tubes or balloons to create flexible, lightweight robots. Removable, reusable sheets of this artificial skin, described online September 19 in Science Robotics, could also be used to build grippers or wearable devices...
Graphene just added another badge to its supermaterial sash.
New experiments show that this single layer of carbon atoms can transform electronic signals at gigahertz frequencies into higher-frequency terahertz signals — which can shuttle up to 1,000 times as much information per second.
Electromagnetic waves in the terahertz range are notoriously difficult to create, and...
Superconductors are heating up, and a world record-holder may have just been dethroned.
Two studies report evidence of superconductivity — the transmission of electricity without resistance — at temperatures higher than seen before. The effect appears in compounds of lanthanum and hydrogen squeezed to extremely high pressures.
All known superconductors must be chilled to function,...
News in Brief
A new material that converts light into heat could be laminated onto airplanes, wind turbines, rooftops and offshore oil platforms to help combat ice buildup.
This deicer, called a photothermal trap, has three layers: a top coating of a ceramic-metal mix that turns incoming light into thermal energy, a middle layer of aluminum that spreads this heat across the entire sheet — warming up...
Here’s good news for anyone who’s had to sweep up pasta shards after snapping dry spaghetti and thought, “there’s got to be a better way.”
Simply bending a stick of spaghetti in half typically shatters it into three or more fragments. That’s because when the stick breaks, vibrations wrack the remaining halves, causing smaller pieces to splinter off (SN: 11/12/05, p. 315...