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Sunday, December 8, 2019
A brand-new magnetic swirl, or skyrmion, might update information storage

A brand-new magnetic swirl, or skyrmion, might update information storage

Magnetic swirls called skyrmions have gotten a new twist. Scientists have created a new version of the atomic whirlpools, in which the tiny magnetic fields of individual atoms in a material arrange into a swirl pattern. Known as antiferromagnetic skyrmions, the new structures have some advantages that could make them easier to work with than…
16- bit RISC-V processor made with carbon nanotubes

16- bit RISC-V processor made with carbon nanotubes

The RV16X-NANO. Our ability to continuously shrink the features of our silicon-based processors appears to be a thing of the past, which has materials scientists considering ways to move beyond silicon. The top candidate is the carbon nanotube, which naturally comes in semiconducting forms, has fantastic electrical properties, and is extremely small. Unfortunately, it has…
See this paper doll do sit-ups thanks to brand-new sort of “synthetic muscle”

See this paper doll do sit-ups thanks to brand-new sort of...

A new twist on a special kind of polymer is what enables this paper doll to do calisthenics. A new twist on lightweight organic materials shows promise for artificial-muscle applications. Chinese scientists spiked a crystalline organic material with a polymer to make it more flexible. They reported their findings in a new paper in ACS…
Tiny robotic jumps around bring its own battery, electronic devices

Tiny robotic jumps around bring its own battery, electronic devices

Enlarge / A Tribot leaps ahead of its peers. Robots have traditionally been roughly humanoid in form, which has some obvious advantages, in that the robots are better able to integrate into a human-designed environment. But there are lots of environments that aren't human designed, and researchers have been experimenting with robotic forms that look…
Scientists make a robotic fish with a battery for blood

Scientists make a robotic fish with a battery for blood

James Pikul Lots of experimental robots involve a little bit of cheating. Rather than containing all the necessary electronics and energy sources, they have tethers and wires that provide power and control without weighing the robot down or taking up too much internal space. This is especially true for soft-bodied robots, which typically pump air…
Atomically thin product might cut requirement for transistors in half

Atomically thin product might cut requirement for transistors in half

With the development of carbon nanotubes and graphene, scientists were given an entirely new collection of materials to work with: sheets and tubes that could be consistently made with thicknesses roughly those of individual atoms. These materials hold the promise of building electronic devices with dimensions smaller than is currently possible through any other process…
More powerful than aluminum, a greatly modified wood cools passively

More powerful than aluminum, a greatly modified wood cools passively

Enlarge / A look at the lignin-free compressed wood. University of Maryland Most of our building practices aren't especially sustainable. Concrete production is a major source of carbon emissions, and steel production is very resource intensive. Once completed, heating and cooling buildings becomes a major energy sink. There are various ideas on how to handle…
Science and cycling satisfy in a brand-new helmet style

Science and cycling satisfy in a brand-new helmet style

When we recently did an overview of the evolution of bicycling technology, helmets were barely mentioned. They've been made out of the same materials for decades, and the only improvement they've seen in that time is a more efficient venting layout. But the timing of that article turned out to be propitious because, a few…
MIT researchers: Heat can imitate acoustic wave when moving through pencil lead

MIT researchers: Heat can imitate acoustic wave when moving through pencil...

Enlarge / Graphite rods ready to be encased in wood to make pencils. MIT scientists have shown that heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite. A boiling tea kettle diffuses its heat to gradually warm surrounding air, yet it will still be the warmest region even as it, too, slowly cools. But what if…
Physicists are deciphering math-y tricks of knitting to make bespoke products

Physicists are deciphering math-y tricks of knitting to make bespoke products

Enlarge / Introducing topological defects into knitted patterns can shape the (a) out-of-plane elasticity of a stuffed rabbit (left), and (b) the in-plane deformations of knitted textiles (right). Elisabetta Matsumoto Knitted fabrics like a scarf or socks are highly elastic, capable of stretching as much as twice their length, but individual strands of yarn hardly…

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