Materials Science

  1. insulator
    Materials Science

    A new insulation material is practically weightless yet still durable

    Extreme heat and temperature swings are no match for this lightweight insulator.

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  2. breathable fabric
    Materials Science

    A new fabric becomes more breathable as you work up a sweat

    A yarn-based textile can switch from breathable to insulating and back again, depending on how much you sweat.

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  3. crystalline lattice structure illustration
    Materials Science

    Being messy on the inside keeps metamaterials from folding under stress

    Inspiration from disordered arrangements of atoms in crystalline metals may lead to longer-lasting, next-gen materials.

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  4. metamaterial unit cells
    Materials Science

    Magnets make a new soft metamaterial stiffen up in a flash

    Scientists can dial the stiffness of a bizarre new type of synthetic material up or down using magnets.

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  5. Materials Science

    Questions about toxic red tides, and more reader feedback

    Readers had inquiries about a new deicing material, harmful algal blooms and more.

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  6. vanadium atoms
    Physics

    Vanadium dioxide’s weird phase transition just got weirder

    When shifting from one crystalline structure to another, the atoms inside vanadium dioxide bumble around a lot more than expected.

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  7. polymer painted panel
    Materials Science

    This reflective paint could keep sunbaked buildings cool

    A new type of polymer coating that reflects sunlight to control heat could supplement or replace air conditioning systems.

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  8. robotic skins on a stuffed horse
    Materials Science

    High-tech ‘skins’ turn everyday objects into robots

    Robotic skins turn inanimate objects into multipurpose machines.

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  9. graphene frequency illustration
    Materials Science

    Here’s how graphene could make future electronics superfast

    Graphene-based electronics that operate at terahertz frequencies would be much speedier successors to today’s silicon-based devices.

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  10. illustration of LaH10
    Physics

    A new hydrogen-rich compound may be a record-breaking superconductor

    The record for the highest-temperature superconductor may be toast.

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  11. deicing plane
    Materials Science

    A new material harnesses light to deice surfaces

    A new sun-powered material could someday melt the ice off airplane wings, wind turbines and rooftops.

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  12. snapping spaghetti
    Physics

    Here’s how to bend spaghetti to your will

    Researchers have discovered how to snap spaghetti sticks without sending bits of pasta flying.

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