tech science fashion rain graphene materials nanotechnology water_filter chemistry waterproof
Your Future Rain Jacket Might Be Made of Graphene

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by Michael Keller

Researchers in Switzerland say they have punched precisely shaped holes in films of graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of linked carbon atoms. Their development means graphene, a material that is lightweight and strong, can be made into the thinnest possible membrane with pores of exact size to exclude specific molecules.

Engineers at ETH Zurich created the membrane out of two graphene sheets pressed together. Their prototypes were 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

"With a thickness of just two carbon atoms, this is the thinnest porous membrane that is technologically possible to make," said Jakob Buchheim, a nanoscience doctoral student in the university’s Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering. He is a lead author of the study published today in the journal Science.

Along with major applications like filtering water, separating gaseous mixtures and removing impurities from liquids, graphene membranes could be a game changer in rain gear and waterproofing. The researchers say the material could be manufactured to make a coating that excludes liquids while letting gases right on through. 

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science tech physics neutrinos subatomic

Neutrinos are electrically neutral subatomic particles that mostly pass right through matter without interacting with it. They are one of the fundamental building blocks that make up our universe. Yet because they rarely interact with other things, they are not well understood and the subject of intense scientific interest.

An international group of researchers have been using a facility in southern China called the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment to learn about the elusive particle. There, researchers are specifically trying to understand a phenomenon displayed by neutrinos in which they oscillate between three different forms: electron, muon and tau.

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Advanced Concrete Means Little Maintenance For A Century

by Michael Keller

A new water-repellant concrete impregnated with tiny superstrong fibers promises to leave roads and bridges free of major cracks for up to 120 years.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee civil engineers have developed a concrete mix that is durable and superhydrophobic. They call it Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC). Preventing normally porous concrete from absorbing water means that liquid can’t get inside, freeze and cause it to crack. The concrete’s unusual characteristics, including being significantly more ductile than traditional concrete, means that cracks that do form do not propagate and cause failure.

“Our architecture allows the material to withstand four times the compression with 200 times the ductility of traditional concrete,” said associate professor Konstantin Sobolev, whose lab created SECC.

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U.S. Soil Grows Wind Power Garden
by Michael Keller
Wind farms have proliferated across the American landscape over the last four decades. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one wind farm existed California in 1975. It produced enough electricity to power around 4,100 homes. By 2012, 815 wind farms were pumping out enough power for 15 million homes. 
See the Department of Energy’s interactive version.[[MORE]]

U.S. Soil Grows Wind Power Garden

by Michael Keller

Wind farms have proliferated across the American landscape over the last four decades. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one wind farm existed California in 1975. It produced enough electricity to power around 4,100 homes. By 2012, 815 wind farms were pumping out enough power for 15 million homes. 

See the Department of Energy’s interactive version.

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