American Institute of Physics

Will raindrops stick to a spider web's threads?

If you go out after a rain, you may notice spider webs glistening with water droplets. The soggy webs resemble human-made meshes for fog collection: They both have thin fibers that collect water from droplets in the air.

dateApr 12, 2016 in Soft Matter
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Cooling chips with the flip of a switch

Turn on an electric field, and a standard electrocaloric material will eject heat to its surroundings as its internal dipoles reorder themselves. Do the same thing, and a negative electrocaloric material will absorb heat, ...

dateApr 05, 2016 in General Physics
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Outsourcing crystal growth... to space

Sometimes, distance can lend a new perspective to a problem. For Japanese researchers studying protein crystal growth, that distance was 250 miles up—the altitude at which the International Space Station (ISS) orbits the ...

dateMar 15, 2016 in Condensed Matter
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Sharkskin actually increases drag

On an intuitive level, you'd expect a shark's skin to reduce drag. After all, the purpose of sharkskin-inspired riblets—the micro-grooved structures found in aircraft wings, wind turbine blades and Olympic-class swimsuits—is ...

dateMar 15, 2016 in Soft Matter
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