Back in 2006, Nike introduced the high-performance SUMO 2 golf club driver, specially engineered to help golfers hit straighter shots, even for slightly off-center hits. There was just one problem: the newly designed club made an unpleasantly loud, tinny sound when it struck the ball—so much so, that most players…
Wood is a great material because it’s cheap, renewable, and versatile. But this crazy transparent wood that scientists in Sweden brewed up is nuts. It could replace glass for some seriously eye-catching architecture, and even be used in cheap solar panels or windows.
Tweaking the structure of graphene so that it matches patterns found in the eyes of moths could one day give us “smart wallpaper,” among a host of other useful technologies.
Materials scientists typically rely on their eyes to analyze data, but soon they could employ their ears as well. Setting the motions of molecules to music can help scientists identify hidden patterns in their data that might otherwise be too small, or occur over such short time scales that they’re easily missed by…
Graphene, everybody’s favorite wonder material, has yet another trick up its sleeve. The ultra-strong, highly conductive carbon lattice is extraordinarily good at detecting faint and high frequency sound waves.
If the notion that humans will one day ascend into orbit on a rope of ultra strong carbon nanofibers sounds a bit out of this world, then you’re going to love the latest dazzling twist: our future space elevators might actually be built of diamond.
If engineers ever hope to build structures at the nanoscale, they’re going to need very, very tiny fingers. Or at least very tiny tools. By building a wrench that’s just 1.7 nanometers across, researchers from the University of Vermont have taken a critical step in that direction.
Researchers have discovered a material that could break the record for the highest melting point of any substance.
Between prom dresses and bridesmaids dresses, we’ve seen a lot of really terrible gowns lately. What is Jessica McClintock doing to us? But it’s worse than you know—there’s a lot of weird science that goes into tacky formal dresses. You know about the engineering marvels of the Curiosity Rover, but here’s the truth…
Space colonization has reached an impasse, for reasons far more fundamental than a lack of money for the Space Shuttle program. There is simply no way humans can travel easily offworld without using massive amounts of rocket fuel to escape the gravity well — and that’s both expensive and environmentally unsustainable.…
For centuries, the best chemists in the world struggled every day to create the molecules that your own cells manufacture every second. Then they discovered how one group of atoms let them make stuff that only living cells could make, until then. Here’s why we no longer need life to create the products of life.
There’s a reason why we call it the “march of progress” instead of the “moonwalk of progress.” Technology is meant to move steadily forward, but there are still plenty of times when tech has inexplicably reversed course on us. One of the most striking examples are Damascus swords.
When you play a game of billiards, you’re usually hoping to hear the satisfying clack of the balls. You’re probably not hoping to hear a sound like gunfire as your cue ball connects with the eight ball. But if you got your hands on some of the earliest plastic billiard balls, that was a chance you took.
Ennion made me. Those were the words molded on glass vases and jars that survived centuries of dust, change, and trauma all over the classical world. But who was Ennion? And how, in the early years of the world, did his glassware become so famous?
Bernard Meyerson, chief innovation officer of IBM and chair of the World Economic Forum's Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, today published the Meta-Council's list of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015.
You do not become a forest-floor-creeping mollusk on good looks alone; to crawl effectively, you need something with which to lubricate your wriggling, slimy, slithering self. Mucus, secreted in abundance from your entire body, is just the ticket. But slug slime is good for a lot more than whole-body lubrication.
What do a butterfly's shimmering wings, a fish's opalescent scales, and a peacock's brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colors are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand.
Step aside, spider silk — you've just been replaced by the limpet as the creature with the strongest biological material known to science. It's a discovery that could result in high-tech materials even tougher than Kevlar.
In the cold doldrums of January, any warm news is good news. Scientists at Stanford have unveiled a new clothing material made of cotton coated in silver nanowire. This fabric is breathable, lightweight, and incredibly warm.