Controlling thermal conductivity of polymers with light

Polymers are regularly used as thermal insulators for everything from keeping beverages hot to keeping sensitive electronics cool. In some cases, polymers can even be used as thermal conductors to enable efficient heating ...

Probing water's skin

From the wind-whipped surface of the open ocean, to trillions of tiny water drops in clouds, the air-water interface—water's skin— is the site for crucial natural processes, including ocean-atmosphere exchange and cloud ...

Asteroids are stronger, harder to destroy than previously thought

A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up. But incoming asteroids may be harder to break than scientists previously ...

Data transfer by controlled noise

In information technology, multiplexing schemes are used to transmit more signals than the number of available transmission channels. Researchers at ETH in Zurich have invented a novel method whereby information is encoded ...

Thermodynamic properties of hevein

Hevein is a small protein (4.7 kDa) consisting of forty-three amino acid residues. It is the main component of the bottom fraction of rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) latex that has a pronounced antimicrobial activity, thus ...

Interactive surfaces enter a whole new dimension of flexibility

An "interactive surface" refers to an interface whose input and output share a common surface that can be manipulated intuitively with the fingers. However, ordinary multi-touch displays, e.g., liquid crystal displays (LCD), ...

New theory could lead to better batteries, fuel cells

A new theory could enable researchers and industry to tune and improve the performance of a material called ionic ceramics in rechargeable batteries, fuel cells and other energy applications.

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