How to control friction in topological insulators

Topological insulators are innovative materials that conduct electricity on the surface, but act as insulators on the inside. Physicists at the University of Basel and the Istanbul Technical University have begun investigating ...

Are we at the limits of measuring water-repellent surfaces?

How liquids are repelled by a surface, a property called "wettability," is important for engineers to develop aircraft that resist ice formation, for fashion designers developing outdoor gear that repels rain and dirt, and ...

The limits of friction

Friction is created when two surfaces slide one on top of the other. Since this consumes additional energy, this so-called sliding friction is considered an irksome yet inevitable aspect of dynamic processes. However, to ...

Why does a spinning egg stand up?

If a hard-boiled egg is spun fast enough on a table, it will slowly stand upright as it continues to spin. Although the spinning egg rises due to the force of friction between the egg and the table, the full explanation involves ...

Granular media friction explained: Da Vinci would be proud

New York | Heidelberg, 12 July 2017 Leonardo Da Vinci had already noticed it. There is a very peculiar dynamics of granular matter, such as dry sand or grains of wheat. When these granular particles are left on a vibrating ...

Friction shapes zebrafish embryos

A simple ball of cells is the starting point for humans—and zebrafish. At the end of embryonic development, however, a fish and a human look very different. The biochemical signals at play have been studied extensively. ...

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