Nano-

Put Nano- in front of any science and you get a whole new field!

371 notes

zerostatereflex:

Hand in Hot Ice 
Awesome! :D
"This works because the substance is not "ice" as in water, but a different substance called sodium acetate trihydrate. Normally solid sodium acetate was melted into a liquid that was then supercooled to below its melting point. In this state, adding nucleation sites, like the crystals on my hand, rapidly causes the rest of the sodium acetate to crystallize."

zerostatereflex:

Hand in Hot Ice

Awesome! :D

"This works because the substance is not "ice" as in water, but a different substance called sodium acetate trihydrate. Normally solid sodium acetate was melted into a liquid that was then supercooled to below its melting point. In this state, adding nucleation sites, like the crystals on my hand, rapidly causes the rest of the sodium acetate to crystallize."

1,784 notes

mindblowingscience:

Next Generation Spacesuit like Second Skin

Scientists from MIT have designed a next-generation spacesuit that acts practically as a second skin, and could revolutionize the way future astronauts travel into space. (Photo : Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)
Astronauts are used to climbing into conventional bulky, gas-pressurized spacesuits, but this new design could allow them to travel in style. Soon they may don a lightweight, skintight and stretchy garment lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. Essentially the new suit acts like a giant piece of shrink-wrap, in which the coils contract and tighten when plugged into a power supply, thereby creating a “second skin.”
"With conventional spacesuits, you’re essentially in a balloon of gas that’s providing you with the necessary one-third of an atmosphere [of pressure,] to keep you alive in the vacuum of space," lead researcher Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said in astatement.
"We want to achieve that same pressurization, but through mechanical counterpressure - applying the pressure directly to the skin, thus avoiding the gas pressure altogether. We combine passive elastics with active materials. … Ultimately, the big advantage is mobility, and a very lightweight suit for planetary exploration."
Newman, who has worked for the past decade on a design for the next-generation spacesuit, describes the new garment in detail in the journal IEEE/ASME: Transactions on Mechatronics.
The MIT BioSuit’s coils, which are a main feature of the outfit, are made from a shape-memory alloy (SMA). At a certain temperature, the material can “remember” and spring back to its engineered shape after being bent or misshapen.
Skintight suits are not a novel idea, but in the past scientists have always struggled with the question: how do you get in and out of a suit that is so tight? That’s where the SMAs come in, allowing the suit to contract only when heated, and subsequently stretched back to a looser shape when cooled.
Though the lightweight suit may not seem at first like it can withstand the harsh environment that is outer space, Newman and his colleagues are sure that the BioSuit would not only give astronauts much more freedom during planetary exploration, but it would also fully support these space explorers.
Newman and his team are not only working on how to keep the suit tight for long periods of time, but also believe their design could be applied to other attires, such as athletic wear or military uniforms.
"An integrated suit is exciting to think about to enhance human performance," Newman added. "We’re trying to keep our astronauts alive, safe, and mobile, but these designs are not just for use in space."

mindblowingscience:

Next Generation Spacesuit like Second Skin

Scientists from MIT have designed a next-generation spacesuit that acts practically as a second skin, and could revolutionize the way future astronauts travel into space. (Photo : Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)

Astronauts are used to climbing into conventional bulky, gas-pressurized spacesuits, but this new design could allow them to travel in style. Soon they may don a lightweight, skintight and stretchy garment lined with tiny, muscle-like coils. Essentially the new suit acts like a giant piece of shrink-wrap, in which the coils contract and tighten when plugged into a power supply, thereby creating a “second skin.”

"With conventional spacesuits, you’re essentially in a balloon of gas that’s providing you with the necessary one-third of an atmosphere [of pressure,] to keep you alive in the vacuum of space," lead researcher Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, said in astatement.

"We want to achieve that same pressurization, but through mechanical counterpressure - applying the pressure directly to the skin, thus avoiding the gas pressure altogether. We combine passive elastics with active materials. … Ultimately, the big advantage is mobility, and a very lightweight suit for planetary exploration."

Newman, who has worked for the past decade on a design for the next-generation spacesuit, describes the new garment in detail in the journal IEEE/ASME: Transactions on Mechatronics.

The MIT BioSuit’s coils, which are a main feature of the outfit, are made from a shape-memory alloy (SMA). At a certain temperature, the material can “remember” and spring back to its engineered shape after being bent or misshapen.

Skintight suits are not a novel idea, but in the past scientists have always struggled with the question: how do you get in and out of a suit that is so tight? That’s where the SMAs come in, allowing the suit to contract only when heated, and subsequently stretched back to a looser shape when cooled.

Though the lightweight suit may not seem at first like it can withstand the harsh environment that is outer space, Newman and his colleagues are sure that the BioSuit would not only give astronauts much more freedom during planetary exploration, but it would also fully support these space explorers.

Newman and his team are not only working on how to keep the suit tight for long periods of time, but also believe their design could be applied to other attires, such as athletic wear or military uniforms.

"An integrated suit is exciting to think about to enhance human performance," Newman added. "We’re trying to keep our astronauts alive, safe, and mobile, but these designs are not just for use in space."

417 notes

mindblowingscience:

'Phase-Changing' Materials Can Make Computers 1000 Times Faster

How many times have you been sitting at your computer for what seems like hours waiting for it to load or boot up? Well, new “phase-changing” materials designed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, can make your computer 1,000 times faster, as well as smaller and more eco-friendly, a new study describes.
Current computer models use silicon, but by replacing it with phase-change materials (PCMs), which are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states, it could transform the speed of your computer.
"As demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities," lead study author Stephen Elliott added in a statement.
Specifically, PCMs can switch between a crystalline, conducting phase and a glassy and insulating phase in just billionths of a second.
These materials, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy.
These days, most experts increase a computer’s power by reducing to size of the devices in order to expand the number of logic devices that they contain. However, this method’s full potential is quickly being exhausted. Currently, the smallest logic and memory devices based on silicon are about 20 nanometers in size - approximately 4000 times thinner than a human hair. But PCMs overcome silicon’s limitations since they have been shown to function down to about two nanometers.
Also, an alternative for increasing processing speed without raising the number of logic devices is to increase the number of calculations that each device can perform, something that is possible with PCMs.
Eventually, the researchers say, they want to achieve faster PCM switching times - which is already at a mere 10 nanoseconds - to create computers that “are not just faster, but also much ‘greener,’” Elliott said.

mindblowingscience:

'Phase-Changing' Materials Can Make Computers 1000 Times Faster

How many times have you been sitting at your computer for what seems like hours waiting for it to load or boot up? Well, new “phase-changing” materials designed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, can make your computer 1,000 times faster, as well as smaller and more eco-friendly, a new study describes.

Current computer models use silicon, but by replacing it with phase-change materials (PCMs), which are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states, it could transform the speed of your computer.

"As demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities," lead study author Stephen Elliott added in a statement.

Specifically, PCMs can switch between a crystalline, conducting phase and a glassy and insulating phase in just billionths of a second.

These materials, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy.

These days, most experts increase a computer’s power by reducing to size of the devices in order to expand the number of logic devices that they contain. However, this method’s full potential is quickly being exhausted. Currently, the smallest logic and memory devices based on silicon are about 20 nanometers in size - approximately 4000 times thinner than a human hair. But PCMs overcome silicon’s limitations since they have been shown to function down to about two nanometers.

Also, an alternative for increasing processing speed without raising the number of logic devices is to increase the number of calculations that each device can perform, something that is possible with PCMs.

Eventually, the researchers say, they want to achieve faster PCM switching times - which is already at a mere 10 nanoseconds - to create computers that “are not just faster, but also much ‘greener,’” Elliott said.

28 notes

Anonymous asked: Hi! Are you still taking questions? If so, could you explain the physics and engineering behind a magnetron and possibly why use Berylliumoxide instead of something less toxic. Like magnesiumoxide. Thank you, cheers :)

nanodash:

We are always taking questions!

Magentron. Magnetron…sounds like a pokémon…*internet*

…here it is!

So it’s a device for generating microwaves and it does so by the clever application of electrons and magnetic fields.

So electrons are emitted from a central cathode which is a rod in the centre of the whole business. They make they way out radially to a cylindrical anode around the rod. Switch on the magnetic field and those electrons feel a force pushing them at right angles to their direction of motion. So they begin to spiral around the cathode on their way to the anode. As the magnetic field gets stronger it will reach a critical point whereby the electrons are trapped like satellites in a perpetual orbit around the cathode, never reaching the anode. More magnetic field and the electrons bend back to the cathode. So we can successfully switch on and off and achieve a critical midpoint of electrons, after many orbits, juuust reaching the anode.

At the critical point the magnetron begins to emit radio waves. The electrons are now behaving like a synchotron and radiating energy that is proportional to the size of the cavities. Passing electrons excite radio wave oscillations in the cavities (shown) and a resonant frequency microwave is produced.

That’s the basics. As for the beryllium oxide: Yes, it is hazardous in powder form, but BeO in an excellent electrical insulator and has the highest thermal conductivity than any non-metal (except diamond, but we are not about to insulate a magnetron with diamond). Here is a report positing Aluminium Nitride as an alternative to the nasty BeO.

You decide if they’ve made the case.

81 notes

nanodash:

This is the Aurora Pyramid of Hope. It’s currently on display in the Natural History Museum in London. It’s 296 diamonds and is, according to them, “the most comprehensive natural color diamond collection in the world”

The different colours are caused by impurities of different elements like boron or nitrogen. When exposed to radiation, diamonds can also turn green.

A certain percentage of diamonds also fluoresce under a UV light, meaning under the right lighting, the pyramid can look like that gorgeous second image 

33 notes

remerr asked: Why is there never 100% of a metal but only 99,99%? Because it's impossible due to oxygen, etc. or because they can never be too sure?

nanodash:

I think it’s for the same reason that cleaning products only ever claim to kill 99.9% of bacteria.

image

You get the metal to a 99% purity but you don’t know what’s in that last percent. So you refine it more and get to 99.9% but then that 0.1% is a mystery and it has gotten more difficult to refine. Going further for 99.99% is even more difficult. And at a certain point you just have to stop and say good enough.

23 notes

Anonymous asked: Biology-ish question (if able to answer). I did a report in high school a few years back that outlined the different areas of forensics with case studies. Andrei Chikatilo (Rostov Ripper) had an anomaly- his blood and semen samples were unidentifiable from each other, where they should match. I have asked a few others but they have only speculated that he may have had two completely different sets of antigens. What are your opinions?

nanodash:

All right, this one is dark. Fascinating, but dark. I’m not one for trigger warnings usually, but imminent murder, rape, and gore incoming. I have a strong constitution and I needed to walk away from this one for a little while. Oh, and intense profanity from me, because this is seriously fucked up. So much so that I’m going to intersperse this piece with pictures of my favourite breeds of puppies.

In brief, the Rostov Ripper brutally murdered at least 52 women and children over the course of the 1980’s in the USSR, mostly in Soviet Ukraine. He would lure them away to secluded spots and stab them numerous times and mutilate them as (and this is unfortunately important) the only way he could experience sexual satisfaction was by brutally murdering people. See? Fucked up. I could go into more detail but I really don’t want to. Here’s the wiki if you’re curious about the specifics. PUPPY TIME.

He was arrested in 1984 after an undercover cop watched him trying to lure women away from a bus station. When searched he had a rope and knife on him. Which put together is a pretty fucking serious red flag. But when they tested his blood, he was found to be Type A, where as semen samples found on the victims were Type AB.

So why the discrepancy? Well it’s never really been explained. Some sources call him a “non-secretor” which would mean he didn’t secrete all the antigens and antibodies that decide what blood type you are into his other bodily fluids, which means his blood type would be impossible to determine from anything other than a blood sample. The other explanation is just clerical error. Which in the USSR, isn’t that hard to believe. Whatever it was, it let him free for a further 6 years before the fucker was eventually tracked down and caught in a massive sting operation.