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Dec 26, 2022

Earth’s North Magnetic Pole Is Heading Towards Siberia — And Now We Know Why

Posted by in category: materials

It’s easy to think of Earth’s geomagnetic poles as features that are set in stone (or ice), but both poles are not stationary and remain in a permanent state of flux. Since it was first documented by scientists in the 1830s, the North Magnetic Pole has wandered some 2,250 kilometers (1,400 miles) across the upper stretches of the Northern Hemisphere from Canada towards Siberia. Between 1990 and 2005, the rate of this movement accelerated from less than 15 kilometers per year to around 50 to 60 kilometers per year.

A study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, argues the changes could be explained by the to-ing and fro-ing between two magnetic “blobs” of molten material in the planet’s interior, causing a titanic shift of its magnetic field.

The North Magnetic Pole is the point at which Earth’s magnetic field points vertically downwards, dictated by molten iron that’s sloshing around Earth’s interior through convection currents. The recent shift towards Siberia, it seems, is caused by a blip in the pattern of flow in Earth’s interior that occurred between 1970 and 1999. The change resulted in the Canadian blob becoming elongated and losing its influence on the magnetosphere, causing the pole to zoom toward Siberia.

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Dec 25, 2022

New rusty batteries could provide up to 100 hours of storage

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Petmal/iStock.

The firm claims the innovation, known as the “iron-air battery,” could help decarbonize the nation’s power sector more cheaply than lithium-ion storage systems while using only domestic readily available materials.

Dec 25, 2022

Patagonia’s Next Jacket Will Be Made of Spider Silk

Posted by in categories: futurism, materials

The material is ultra tough, durable, and lightweight, and it may be the future of outdoor apparel if Patagonia and a California startup have their way.

Dec 25, 2022

Synthetic spider silk stronger and tougher than the real thing

Posted by in category: materials

Year 2021 face_with_colon_three


Spider silk is one of nature’s most impressive materials, exhibiting impressive strength and toughness. Now, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis claim to have created an artificial version that can outperform some natural spider silks.

This isn’t the first rodeo for this research team – back in 2018 they developed a synthetic spider silk that was about on par with the real thing, in terms of tensile strength, extensibility and toughness. To do so, they spliced silk-producing genes into bacteria, and tweaked them so that proteins in the silk would fuse together to make a stronger, tougher material.

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Dec 20, 2022

Chemists make the unimaginable possible in crystalline materials discovery

Posted by in categories: chemistry, materials

The world’s best artists can take a handful of differently colored paints and create a museum-worthy canvas that looks like nothing else. They do so by drawing upon inspiration, knowledge of what’s been done in the past and design rules they learned after years in the studio.

Chemists work in a similar way when inventing new compounds. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University and The University of Chicago have developed a new method for discovering and making new with two or more elements.

“We expect that our work will prove extremely valuable to the chemistry, materials and condensed matter communities for synthesizing new and currently unpredictable materials with exotic properties,” said Mercouri Kanatzidis, a chemistry professor at Northwestern with a joint appointment at Argonne.

Dec 19, 2022

Discovery of “impossible” superconductor promises 100x faster electronics

Posted by in categories: electronics, materials

In a major advance, scientists have found a new and groundbreaking way to force electrons to flow only in one direction in a superconductor.

Dec 19, 2022

The Donnan potential, revealed at last

Posted by in categories: chemistry, materials

The Donnan electric potential arises from an imbalance of charges at the interface of a charged membrane and a liquid, and for more than a century it has stubbornly eluded direct measurement. Many researchers have even written off such a measurement as impossible.

But that era, at last, has ended. With a tool that’s conventionally used to probe the chemical composition of materials, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently led the first direct measurement of the Donnan potential.

“We were naïve enough to believe we could do the impossible,” said Ethan Crumlin, a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), which generated the bright X-rays used in the experiment. Crumlin and his collaborators recently reported the measurement in Nature Communications.

Dec 17, 2022

A New Material Can Stop Supersonic Impacts

Posted by in category: materials

A team of researchers managed to develop an ultra-resistant material that can stop projectiles at high speeds without breaking.

Dec 17, 2022

Study observes Luttinger liquid behavior in a quasi-2D system

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

Luttinger liquids are usually paramagnetic materials exhibiting non-Fermi liquid behavior, such as molybdenum oxides. These “liquids” and their fascinating properties had so far been only observed in 1D and quasi-1D compounds, such as blue bronze A0.3 MoO3 (A= K, Rb, Tl) and purple bronze Li0.9 Mo6O17.

Researchers at Tsinghua University, ShanghaiTech University, and other institutes in China recently observed prototypical Luttinger liquid behavior in η-Mo4O11,a charge-density wave material with a quasi-2D . Their findings, published in Nature Physics, could pave the way for the exploration of non-Fermi liquid behavior in other 2D and 3D quantum materials.

“In our previous work, we identified the Luttinger liquid phase in the normal state of blue bronzes, which is not surprising due to its quasi-1D nature,” Lexian Yang and Yulin Chen, two of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org.

Dec 17, 2022

Experimental Shock-Absorbing Material Can Stop Projectiles Traveling Over 3,000 MPH

Posted by in category: materials

Taking inspiration from Mother Nature once again results in a new material with fantastic properties.

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