A diagram of the chemical structure of a newly discovered material that expands under pressure. The material could be used to design things like artificial muscles and highly sensitive touchscreen monitors. (Source: University of Oxford)
It always does my heart good to see these projects that work on materials or properties of materials that do not have a specific outcome or application in mind. Necessity is not always the mother of invention.
Fascinating article. I am especially impressed by the innovation and vision that this team has in order to understand the arrangement and behavior of this material on a nanometer scale. Great scientific work.
Fascinating indeed. Materials engineering has always caught my eye and this zinc-based material has a unique property of its own. This will open doors to new avenues and bring out more possibilities. Thanks for sharing.
Definitely a great innovation in the materials world, and it has a great scope in the areas where pressure variations are used as inputs. But I agree, gold is a game spoiler. It will make the products price sky rocket. I hope there exists another material that can replace gold, to form a similar structure and geometry having a similar reaction to pressure.
I agree, there have been many cases where the inventions were just made on basis of accidents. Some times it was keen observation (like Newton observing an apple). And sometimes its just the passion and interest for the field that leads people to discover and invent marvelous things.
Yes, Rob, I agree, sometimes research for research's sake just to invent something new and innovative is refreshing. It seems sometimes that a lot of research happens just to solve a problem, and that is good, of course, because there are good technologies that are developed this way. But I agree that freestyling it and seeing what happens is also a good way forward.
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The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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