TAG: Science

“Sensor on a Chip” Could Enable Inexpensive Environmental Monitoring

"Sensor on a Chip" Could Enable Inexpensive Environmental Monitoring

Researchers are working on tiny sensors that could eventually enable inexpensive real-time monitoring of water and air for pollutants. The researchers, at University of Delaware’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, are developing highly sensitive devices capable of detecting chemical molecules in the environment, even at low levels. These sensors could replace current molecular detectors, which are both unwieldy and costly, and be used in the field to detect environmental contamination. “In the end, the device will be very sensitive compared to current technology. We expect around two to four orders of magnitude improvement. It will also be small and… read more

New Process Turns Cement into Metal Semiconductor

New Process Turns Cement into Metal Semiconductor

A team of scientists, including a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and associates from Japan, Finland and Germany, have uncovered the process for turning liquid cement into liquid metal, which could lead to advances in electronics. “This new material has lots of applications, including as thin-film resistors used in liquid-crystal displays, basically the flat panel computer monitor that you are probably reading this from at the moment” – Chris Benmore, physicist at U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory The process, which is called ‘electron trapping’, turns what is normally an insulating material… read more

New Citizen Science Project Brings Butterfly Enthusiasts and Scientists Together

fendersbluebutterfly

Who doesn’t love butterflies? They’re beautiful, fragile, and extremely important to our ecosystems. They’re also incredibly sensitive to changes in their habitats, from changing temperatures to increasing urban sprawl. And now, just about anyone can help scientists better understand them, by contributing to a new citizen science project. eButterfly, from Oregon State University, is an online portal for recording sightings of butterflies across the US and Canada, which will help add virtual manpower to the cadre of scientists that are gathering data on one of the Earth’s most elegant inhabitants. “What we need, and what we believe eButterfly will provide,… read more

Smart Glass: Not Just For Windows

Smart Glass: Not Just For Windows

Over the past few years, glass used for windows has become increasingly more energy efficient due to new techniques and designs. Traditionally made windows can lose up to 30% of a home’s energy and cause heat fluctuations. Smart glasses are one innovative update in the window design world that considerably increases energy efficacy. Researchers have found that thinly coating vanadium dioxide nanoparticles with a specialized film helps windows function at a heightened level, therefore increasing energy saving capabilities. Applied to films and the materials used to make glass, smart glasses like BioGlass use this application. Glass for windows has customarily… read more

Google Features Nature’s Engineers for Earth Day

naturesengineers

The world’s most famous tech company isn’t just appreciative of human engineers, and in honor of Earth Day, Google has a new feature that focuses on the engineers found in nature. Google Green already has a number of ways to use their products and technology to go green, but their focus on Nature’s Engineers acknowledges that we can learn a lot from nature: “This Earth Day, we’re celebrating something close to our hearts, engineers. Whether it’s a towering aspen or a tiny mushroom, nature has plenty to teach us. We’re taking a look at six of our favorite outdoor innovators… read more

The Human Race Is Doomed, Unless…

Artist's Concept

We all know the Earth has an expiration date. Sooner or later, our sun will die, and when that day comes, one of several things will occur; it could go supernova and destroy us all, it could become a Red Giant and swallow the earth with it, etc. Whatever the case, science tells us it’s bound to happen. Unfortunately, we’ve got bigger and sooner problems. British physicist Stephen Hawking, famous for his theories on time travel, wormholes, the ‘Big Bang’, and others, has come out with a recent statement informing us that we’ve got less than a millennia to get our… read more

Getting Schooled on Climate Change

Getting Schooled on Climate Change

Global warming – is it or isn’t it? That seems to be the question a lot lately. Researchers have been following a 1600 year old ice formation and have been documenting its downgrading. It has taken only 25 years for this massive landmark to melt. According to scientists, the effects of global warming have played the major role in melting the massive glacial structure in the Andes, the Quelccaya Ice Cap. Remarkably, researchers acquired and studied samples of the ice structure’s core. They were able to inspect plant life as well as unearth discoveries about the climate spanning almost the… read more

Climate Scientist Hansen to Retire from NASA

James Hansen

James E. Hansen, perhaps the world’s most well known climate scientist, is retiring and stepping away from his position at NASA to pursue climate activism full time. Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the subject of climate change and global warming throughout his career, sometimes earning him censorship attempts, but ultimately giving credibility to climate activism because of his expertise. His warnings to the U.S. Congress in 1988 served as a wake-up call about the threat of the effects of climate change on the planet, and although most legislators… read more

Solar Powered Toys

Solar Powered Toys

There are many items that teach solar power along with promoting fun. Kids of all ages can learn about science, green energy and how solar power really works by seeing it firsthand. The following are a few ideas for play where solar power’s fun side definitely shows up. There are an ever increasing assortment of solar powered robots, remote control cars and even kits that allow you to build your own solar propelled designs. The OWI 6 In 1 Solar Kit from Edmund Scientifics is a miniature solar building set with interesting combinations. It can be turned into six different small-scale… read more