*tries to fix sleeping schedule* *makes it worse*
Dr. Garcia performing a chemistry experiment in IBM’s polymer lab.
The world welcomed two new polymers on Thursday, codenamed Titan and Hydro, both of which came from the same reaction. One is rigid; it could become part of the next generation of computers. The other is a gel, so it it could be included in water-soluble nail polish.
Humans have been creating synthetic polymers for the better part of a century, and they can now be found in everything from your steering wheel and favorite polyester suit to your computer and airplanes. But new polymer-forming chemical reactions like this one are extremely rare.
"Most [polymer] discoveries were made between 1930 and 1950," Garcia told Mashable.
Polymers are essentially macromolecues made up of 10,000 or more atoms and they occur in nature (rubber) and have been synthesized in the lab (Polystyrene).
Scanning Electron Microscope image of IBM’s new polymer
Even though they were created from the same reaction, the two new polymers have distinct characteristics.
Titan is, naturally, the stronger one. According to IBM, it has bone-like strength (its measurements were similar to the organic material that frames our bodies) and roughly one-third of the tensile strength of steel. When IBM researchers combined Titan with 2% to 5% carbon nanotubes, however, they found they could make a material three times stronger than the polyamides sometimes used on current aircrafts.
Hydro is mostly liquid and quite flexible. It can also “self-heal”; according to Garcia, if you cut a blob of the polymer in two and then place the pieces next to each other (but don’t force them together), they will combine back into one blob. One application could be for a powerful-on-contact adhesive.
The gel-like polymer’s other key feature is its ability to revert to its starting material in water. This can happen slowly, which means it could be set up as a time-release gel. It could also work in tougher materials like paint or nail polish that are removed with water, as opposed to acetone.Though quite different in makeup, the two polymers do share a common feature: Both are recyclable.
Though quite different in makeup, the two polymers do share a common feature: Both are recyclable. Hydro is water-soluble, and Titan can, with a relatively light acid, be broken down into its components. This latter feature could potentially make polymer-based technology more recyclable than those built on non-recoverable polymers.
Happy birthday, Werner Heisenberg!
From the New York Times, September 2, 1927:
"Of thirty addresses delivered today before the various sections of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the most important was that of a young German, Dr. W. Heisenberg. Fully 200 mathematical physicists listened to his brief exposition of a conception which will make it necessary to modify belief in what we are pleased to call “common sense” and “reality.”
The layman without knowledge of higher mathematics, listening to Dr. Heisenberg and those who discussed his conclusions, would have decided that this particular section of the British Association is composed of quiet and polite but determined lunatics, who have created a wholly illusory mathematical world of their own.
To explain the quantum theory and its modification by Dr. Heisenberg and others is even more difficult than explaining relativity. It is much like trying to tell an Eskimo what the French language is like without talking French. In other words, the theory cannot be expressed pictorially and mere words mean nothing. One is dealing with something that can be expressed only mathematically.
The consequences, however, are startling. Electrons and atoms cease to have any reality as things that can be detected by the senses directly or indirectly. Yet we are convinced the world is composed of them.
In the new mathematical universe events are more important than substances, and energy more important than matter. All mental pictures we have formed of bodies moving through space are thrown into confusion. So simple a conception as a baseball flying from the pitcher to the batter turns out to be obscure, doubtful and even ridiculous.
Planck, the originator of the quantum theory, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and De Broglie have shown that the whole science of mechanics must be rewritten. And when it is rewritten, no one but a mathematician will be able to understand it. The scientific world is faced with an upheaval as great as that brought about by Einstein.”
i really want my last words to be “hey.. wanna see a dead body?”
Information vs Knowledge
via Greg Russell
Someone waited a long time to write this headline.
The prototype for a new NASA rover is being tested for underwater space exploration
Yaaaaaas send that to Europa asap!
Spotted on a cosmologist’s whiteboard in Tartu’s Observatory.
(Flux is a measure of the amount of energy given off by an astronomical object over a fixed amount of time and area. It depends on the luminosity of the object and its distance from the Earth)
Given NASA’S recent unveiling of a blueprint for a warp drive spacecraft, it is more important now than ever to put some perspective on a controversial issue and to gauge whether such things are actually within the realm of science fact, or if they will never extend beyond science fiction.
See what the physics and the experts say: http://bit.ly/1wvW2i2
Image Credit:Anderson Institute
petitephysicist has decided I need to “just get naked in front of a dude and fuck him.”
Apparently there’s nothing wrong with a president who consults with the spooky man in the clouds on whether to go to war or not, but an atheist in office?! *gasps* How dare we use logic and reason to base our decisions… If you’re so religious that you can’t bare the thought of a non-believer running the country, then I will happily tell you you’re a fucking idiot. Cause you are. Get your head out of your ass. And what a great message to share with the world that your “religion of peace” is so intolerant that someone can be killed for not believing in said religion. Some of these laws based in religion are pure evil. Fuck them.