Say ‘goodbye’ to cracks, self-healing concrete has arrived.
Say ‘goodbye’ to cracks, self-healing concrete has arrived.
It’s rare to see technology sectors advance as quickly as metal 3D printing has. Until very recently, the technology was lagging a bit behind other forms of 3D printing. Its cost, plus the size of the printers required, limited it mostly to large industrial companies, but just in the last few months there’s been a burst of innovations making metal printers smaller, cheaper and more accessible. From startups like Desktop Metal to major corporations like Additive Industries, this year’s major focus seems to be on advancing metal 3D printing.
The latest company to announce a new metal printer is Toshiba Corporation, which has, in conjunction with its machine tools unit Toshiba Machine, developed a prototype for a metal printer that promises to be ten times faster than most powder bed fusion sintering printers.
Asteroids are primordial material left over from the formation of the Solar System. They are scattered throughout it: some pass close to the Sun, and others are found out beyond the orbit of Neptune. A vast majority have been collected by Jupiter’s gravity into a belt between it and Mars – an area known as the Main Belt. As it turns out, we have been discovering thousands of asteroids that do not belong to the Main Belt, but instead pass near Earth’s orbit – nearly 9,000 to date, with almost a thousand more are discovered every year.
A solar cell is basically a semiconductor, which converts sunlight into electricity, sandwiched between metal contacts that carry the electrical current.
But this widely used design has a flaw: The shiny metal on top of the cell actually reflects sunlight away from the semiconductor where electricity is produced, reducing the cell’s efficiency.
Now, Stanford University scientists have discovered how to hide the reflective upper contact and funnel light directly to the semiconductor below. Their findings, published in the journal ACS Nano, could lead to a new paradigm in the design and fabrication of solar cells.
Vivid holographic images and text can now be produced by means of an ordinary inkjet printer. This new method, developed by a team of scientists from ITMO University in Saint Petersburg, is expected to significantly reduce the cost and time needed to create the so-called rainbow holograms, commonly used for security purposes — to protect valuable items, such as credit cards and paper currency, from piracy and falsification. The results of the study were published 17 November in the scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials.
The team, led by Alexander Vinogradov, senior research associate at the International Laboratory of Solution Chemistry of Advanced Materials and Technologies (SCAMT) in ITMO University, developed colorless ink made of nanocrystalline titania, which can be loaded into an inkjet printer and then deposited on special microembossed paper, resulting in unique patterned images. The ink makes it possible to print custom holographic images on transparent film in a matter of minutes, instead of days as with the use of conventional methods.
Rainbow holograms are widely used to fight against the forgery of credit cards, money, documents and certain manufactured products that call for a high level of protection. Even though the technology of obtaining holographic images was already developed in the 1960s, there still exist numerous technical difficulties that impede its further spread and integration into polygraphic industry.
An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act as insulators for current applied in some directions and as conductors for current applied in other directions. This behavior suggests a range of potential applications, from low-energy devices to efficient transistors.
The researchers theorize that the particle exists in a material known as tungsten ditelluride (WTe2), which the researchers liken to a “material universe” because it contains several particles, some of which exist under normal conditions in our universe and others that may exist only in these specialized types of crystals. The research appeared in the journal Nature this week.
The new particle is a cousin of the Weyl fermion, one of the particles in standard quantum field theory. However, the type-II particle exhibits very different responses to electromagnetic fields, being a near perfect conductor in some directions of the field and an insulator in others.
Only 12 people—all Americans—have put their boots on the Moon. Today, however, NASA has no plans to send humans back to our pockmarked satellite. Instead, its space pioneers will shoot straight to Mars (and wave to the Moon as they pass it by).
A company has announced its intention to resurrect the dead by storing their memories and using artificial intelligence to return them to life. In the future, of course.
The company is called Humai, and at the moment, it is pretty sparse on details – and we’re still not sure it’s not a marketing ploy or a hoax. At any rate, the company says they want to store the “conversational styles, behavioral patterns, thought processes and information about how your body functions from the inside-out” on a silicon chip using AI and nanotechnology, according to their website.
“Instead of buying photos of our solar system, artist Michael Benson decided to create his own—and to do it better. The longtime space aficionado learned to piece together mosaics by combining hundreds of NASA images into one planetary landscape. Spacecraft typically record in various color filters to see different elements of the same view. By overlaying them, Benson creates a detailed, true-color picture of the cosmos.”
“When the world’s smartest researchers train computers to become smarter, they like to use games. Go, the two-player board game born in China more than two millennia ago, remains the nut that machines still can’t crack.”