Nanowire battery can hold 10 times the charge of existing lithium-ion battery Stanford Report, December 18, 2007 Courtesy Nature Nanotechnology Photos taken by a scanning electron microscope of silicon nanowires before (left) and after (right) absorbing lithium. Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices. The new technology, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. "It's not a small improvement," Cui said. The breakthrough is described in a paper, "High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires," published online Dec. 16 in Nature Nanotechnology, written by Cui, his graduate chemistry student Candace Chan and five others. The greatly expanded storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers.
Serious Flaw Emerges In Quantum Cryptography The problem of sending messages securely has troubled humankind since the dawn of civilisation and probably before. In recent years, however, physicists have raised expectations that this problem has been solved by the invention of quantum key distribution. This exploits the strange quantum property of entanglement to guarantee the secrecy of a message. Entanglement is so fragile that any eavesdropper cannot help but break it, revealing the ruse. So-called quantum key distribution is unconditionally secure–it offers perfect secrecy guaranteed by the laws of physics. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. For example, lasers that are supposed to send one photon at a time can sometimes send several and this allows information to leak to an eavesdropper. Last year, we discussed another trick used by a group of quantum hackers to eavesdrop on a commercial quantum cryptography system. Here’s the problem. Of course, there are a couple of simple ways round this new problem. Correction:
FUCK YEAH NERVOUS SYSTEM “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.” Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoos Hide During the Day, Come Out at Night « How-To News Want a tattoo that's daytime work-safe (invisible), but nighttime party-friendly (UV blacklight)? At first sight it may be hard to believe these tattoos are real, but in fact, they are. UV light tattoos are the perfect way to hide it from mom. Via Wikipedia, "The tattoos can be completely invisible in normal light, although scarring from the tattoo machine in the application process may remain, and therefore still show. A UV tattoo becomes visible under blacklight, when it glows in colors ranging from white to purple, depending on the ink chosen. Colored ink is also available, where the ink is visible in normal light (as with a regular tattoo) but the ink will glow vividly under UV light. Find out more information at tattooartists.org. Previously, Augmented Reality Tattoo: Holographic Skin Art.
Through a glass, clearly One of the most instantly recognizable features of glass is the way it reflects light. But a new way of creating surface textures on glass, developed by researchers at MIT, virtually eliminates reflections, producing glass that is almost unrecognizable because of its absence of glare — and whose surface causes water droplets to bounce right off, like tiny rubber balls. The new “multifunctional” glass, based on surface nanotextures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare, the researchers say. Ultimately, they hope it can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process that could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings. Photovoltaic panels, Park explains, can lose as much as 40 percent of their efficiency within six months as dust and dirt accumulate on their surfaces.
Laws of physics vary throughout the universe, new study suggests A team of astrophysicists based in Australia and England has uncovered evidence that the laws of physics are different in different parts of the universe. The team -- from the University of New South Wales, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge -- has submitted a report of the discovery for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters. A preliminary version of the paper is currently under peer review. The report describes how one of the supposed fundamental constants of Nature appears not to be constant after all. "After measuring alpha in around 300 distant galaxies, a consistency emerged: this magic number, which tells us the strength of electromagnetism, is not the same everywhere as it is here on Earth, and seems to vary continuously along a preferred axis through the universe," Professor John Webb from the University of New South Wales said. "The implications for our current understanding of science are profound.
These Skyscrapers Will Clean Pollution From The Surrounding Water And Air Two towers almost a kilometer high have been announced for Wuhan, China. But they won't just be special because of their height - the towers will actually clean the polluted lake next to which they will sit. At 830m high the Burj Khalifa has been the world's tallest building since 2010. However, these days that record seldom lasts long. UK architects Chetwoods are proposing to go for the full 1000m. Tall buildings require a lot of power, particularly for lifts, but Adele Peters of business magazine Fast Company reports “Wind turbines, lightweight solar cladding, and hydrogen fuel cells running on the buildings’ waste will generate all of the power used by the towers, plus a little extra for the rest of the neighbourhood.” Moreover, the designers propose to tackle Wuhan's notorious pollution. “The water goes up through a series of filters,” explains architect Laurie Chetwood.
Make Your Own Rock Candy Throughout my scholarly career, there were two things I was never any good at. Science and art. Fine, three things. I was horrific when it came to all things math, too. Until I reached college and was allowed to take logic (math with words!) My point is, this post is all about two things I’m horrible at. You see, I had a really bright idea to make our own rock candy for the wedding. But please know you have to be incredibly patient to make rock candy. The process is simple. Homemade Rock Candy (makes 2 rock candies):Print the instructions! 2 Wood skewers or threads2 glass jars2 C water3.5 C sugarFood coloring If you can, prepare your skewer (or thread) a day ahead of time. You should also prepare your jars before starting the process. When you’re ready to make your rock candy, start by bringing the 2 cpus of water to boil. Add your sugar in cup by cup, stirring and letting each cup dissolve before adding in another. Continue until all 3.5 cups of sugar have absorbed. So, I did that. Mine?
Smartphone Biosensor Devised to Detect Toxins, Pathogens | Science Business Biosensor smartphone and cradle (Brian Cunningham, University of Illinois) Engineers at University of Illinois in Urbana created a system harnessing an iPhone’s camera to turn the phone into a biosensor that can detect proteins, bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The team led by engineering professor and entrepreneur Brian Cunningham published its findings in a recent online issue of the journal Lab on a Chip (paid subscription required). The biosensor is based on the ability of photonic crystals to alter the frequency of light, which are then captured by the smartphone’s camera. In the case of the Illinois sensor, biological material — e.g., proteins or bacteria — binds to the photonic crystal, altering the reflected light frequency from a shorter to longer wave length, and changing color accordingly. The technician inserts the slide with the specimen sample into the cradle and the reflected light spectrum is measured. Read more:
Quantum Computing: Will It Be a Leap in Human Evolution? Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems that would take a classical computer longer than the age of the universe. Oxford Professor David Deutsch, quantum-computing pioneer, who wrote in his controversial masterpiece, Fabric of Reality says: "quantum computers can efficiently render every physically possible quantum environment, even when vast numbers of universes are interacting. Quantum computers can also efficiently solve certain mathematical problems, such as factorization, which are classically intractable, and can implement types of cryptography which are classically impossible. Quantum computation is a qualitatively new way of harnessing nature." Quantum computing sounds like science fiction -as satellites, moon shots, and the original microprocessor once were. But the age of computing in not even at the end of the beginning. And the development of a silicon based "quantum computer" may be only just over the horizon. Casey Kazan via University College London
Bionic-Arch is a Futuristic Green Skyscraper for Taichung / Vincent Callebaut For the hundredth birthday of the creation of “Taiwan R.O.C.”, the main aim of the Taichung City Government is to honour the local building traditions and symbolize the new Taiwan dynamics into economic, political, social and cultural achievements. International model of the green building of the 21st century, the innovative and pioneering design of the Bionic Arch by Vincent Callebaut Architecture is part of the new master plan “Taichung Gateway – Active Gateway City”, the future urban oasis for lifestyle, innovation, culture and biodiversity in the heart of Central Taiwan. The green tower combines and surpasses the nine major indicators defining a green building by law, and intensifies the relation between the building site and the surrounding Taichung Gateway Park, including an environmental integration of the park and the green land, the integration of green vertical platforms, sky gardens and living façades, interaction between human and natural environments.
How To: Transform Old Books Into Holiday Pumpkins Whenever I write an article about cutting up old books to recycle them into a new use, part of me cringes. I know that books are becoming more obsolete, and especially if they are damaged, many people throw them away or toss them in the recycle bin anyway, so I usually try to remind myself that giving them a new life should be a happy experience, not a sad one. We’ve seen this style of recycling books before. When I saw this, it reminded me of an article Richard wrote about book origami typography. The difference is, the designs in Richard’s article would probably take years to learn how to do; however, this simpler version is something any of us could probably create on the weekend. The pumpkins below were created by Jacki, the very creative and talented crafter behind Crafting Mom. Via: [Incredible Things]