Cooling is a constant design challenge. To meet that challenge, researchers at Bell Labs/Lucent are experimenting with a nanostructured surface that reduces viscous drag on cooling fluid. The intention is to use billions of silicon posts to aid in transferring heat from the silicon surface to the liquid coolant. Each post has a water-repellent, Teflonlike surface, so fluids flow without wetting. When researchers apply a small electric current to the posts, the droplets on the surface slick down and wet the surface. This technology allows researchers to study the details of fluid flow and heat transfer across such superhydrophobic surfaces. The nanograss also provides a tenfold increase in the effective surface area of a flat silicon surface, which also facilitates heat transfer.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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