Tech

Ostwald ripening: Champagne bubble physics may help address future energy needs

Ostwald ripening: Champagne bubble physics may help address future energy needs

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2014 -- Uncork a bottle of champagne, and as the pressure of the liquid is abruptly removed, bubbles immediately form and then rapidly begin the process of "coarsening," in which larger bubbles grow at the expense of smaller ones.

This fundamental nonequilibrium phenomenon is known as "Ostwald ripening," and though it is most familiar for its role in bubbly beverages, it is also seen in a wide range of scientific systems including spin systems, foams and metallic alloys.

Making a good thing better

Making a good thing better

The lithium-ion batteries that mobilize our electronic devices need to be improved if they are to power electric vehicles or

The VuePod: 3-D immersive engineering visualization environment

The VuePod: 3-D immersive engineering visualization environment

It's like a scene from a gamer's wildest dreams: 12 high-definition, 55-inch 3D televisions all connected to a computer capable of supporting high-end, graphics-intensive gaming.

On the massive screen, images are controlled by a Wii remote that interacts with a Kinnect-like Bluetooth device (called SmartTrack), while 3D glasses worn by the user create dizzying added dimensions.

But this real-life, computer-powered mega TV is not for gaming. It's for engineering.

Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications

Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications

Researchers from the University of Southampton have revealed a breakthrough in optical fibre communications.

Academics from the University's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have collaborated with colleagues at Eblana Photonics Inc, in Ireland, to develop an approach that enables direct modulation of laser currents to be used to generate highly advanced modulation format signals.

Parents' BMI decreases with child involved in school-based, community obesity intervention

Parents' BMI decreases with child involved in school-based, community obesity intervention

Research aims to improve rechargeable batteries by focusing on graphene oxide paper

Research aims to improve rechargeable batteries by focusing on graphene oxide paper

MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- A Kansas State University engineering team has discovered some of graphene oxide's important properties that can improve sodium- and lithium-ion flexible batteries.

Gurpreet Singh, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, and Lamuel David, doctoral student in mechanical engineering, India, published their findings in the Journal of Physical Chemistry in the article "Reduced graphene oxide paper electrode: Opposing effect of thermal annealing on Li and Na cyclability."

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity

EUGENE, Ore. -- Dec. 18, 2014 -- Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a University of Oregon spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity.

The work, which potentially could inspire devices with improved efficiency in solar energy conversion, was performed on photocells that used lead-sulfide quantum dots as photoactive semiconductor material. The research is detailed in a paper placed online by the journal Nature Communications.

Oil palm -- a modeled crop

Australian scientists have developed a model for oil palm cultivation, aimed at helping growers of the crop maximize the yields of their plantations, while minimizing detrimental environmental impacts.

The model was recently published in the journal Environmental Modeling & Software.

"Oil palm has become a major crop in the tropics, cultivated on more than 39 million acres of land," co-author Dr Paul Nelson of James Cook University (JCU) said.

New technique moves researchers closer to new range of biosensors

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way of binding peptides to the surface of gallium nitride (GaN) in a way that keeps the peptides stable even when exposed to water and radiation. The discovery moves researchers one step closer to developing a new range of biosensors for use in medical and biological research applications.

High-dose flu vaccine appears better for frail older adults in long-term care

For frail older adults living in long-term care facilities, the high-dose influenza vaccine appears to be a better option than the regular shot, producing a stronger immune response than the standard vaccine, according to a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases and now available online. High-dose vaccine may play a key role, along with improving vaccination rates among health care workers and other strategies, in preventing flu in this vulnerable and growing population.