It is hard to imagine that graphite, the soft “lead” of pencils, can be transformed into a form that competes in strength with its molecular cousin diamond. Using a diamond anvil to produce extreme pressures and the ultra-brilliant X-ray beams at the Advanced Photon Source in Illinois, scientists with the High-Pressure Collaborative Access Team (HPCAT)* have surmounted experimental obstacles to probe the changes that graphite undergoes to produce this unique, super-hard substance. The study is report
If all goes as planned, two rovers named Spirit and Opportunity will explore the surface of Mars next year, gathering a wealth of geologic information and beaming the results back to Earth. However, the environment is so extreme that the rovers will be equipped with heaters to keep the electronic gear warm enough to operate properly over the Martian winter when temperatures can dip to -120 degrees C. Future space probes will involve even more extreme environments, with temperatures as high as 460 deg
Metal detectors have become so commonplace that you might think we know all we need to about them. However, the law enforcement community must continually update performance standards for metal detectors to ensure that new products purchased in the marketplace operate at specified minimum levels. Further-more, they must know if exposure to the magnetic fields generated by metal detectors affects the functioning of personal medical electronic devices (such as cardiac defibrillators, infusion pumps, sp
The cloudy look on cleaned glass is scattered light, not streaks of dirt
A fundamental discovery about the behavior of cooling glass could have a significant impact on the glass- and plastic-making industries, say researchers at Lehigh University.
Himanshu Jain, Diamond chair and professor of materials science and engineering at Lehigh, says the breakthrough was made possible by a combination of nanoscopic science and an old-fashioned kitchen recipe.
When molten glass i
U of T scientists have developed a new class of hybrid materials combining organic and inorganic elements that could lead to improved computer chips, among other applications. The computer industry is faced with a conundrum: as chip components become smaller and faster, the increased electrical resistance and capacitance they generate ultimately slows performance. The silica that insulates individual components becomes less effective as chip components shrink in size. A new material develope
…and bring high power to small packages
Researchers have developed a new family of glasses that will bring higher power to smaller packages in lasers and optical devices and provide a less-expensive alternative to many other optical glasses and crystals, like sapphire. Called REAl(tm) Glass (Rare-earth – Aluminum oxide), the materials are durable, provide a good host for atoms that improve laser performance, and may extend the range of wavelengths that a single laser can currently