Researchers at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Princeton University are exploring the properties of magnesium diboride (MgB2), a compound thought to allow the passage of electric current with no resistance. In copper oxide superconductors, the interfaces between material crystals interfere with the flow of electric current. This is not the case with MgB2. Potential applications: computers and electronics. The process of making the superconducting compound into wire or other practical devices is expected to take several years. Contact David Nelson of the NSF at (703) 292-4932.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.