Materials

  • Conversation

    Atom-scale materials are the next tech frontier

    Getting ready for when silicon nanomaterials run their course.

    Every age in the history of human civilisation has a signature material, from the Stone Age, to the Bronze and Iron A...

    Materials February 13, 2020
  • History

    Fine china from China

    The science and secrets of porcelain were much in demand.

    The science of porcelain would make a good plot for a spy novel – a story of ancient industrial espionage involving a...

    Materials February 9, 2020
  • Tiny bridges help particles stick together

    For the strength and stability of an aggregate, size matters.

    The structure and stability of soil changes as it gets wet, dry and wet again – something architects and engineers kn...

    Materials February 5, 2020
  • History

    Roy Plunkett's accident

    Recognising novelty led to the development of Teflon.

    When New Scientist magazine profiled “eight great accidents in scientific discovery” in 2017 it included such unlikel...

    Materials February 2, 2020
  • When sensors get together

    Matrix takes us further down the path towards electronic skin.

    Advances in flexible sensors and organic electronics are moving us closer to the idea of creating electronic skin, bu...

    Materials January 26, 2020
  • Can your phone sweat to keep cool?

    A new strategy for transient thermal management.

    Chinese engineers are investigating whether our phones can regulate their temperature by sweating – sort of. Writing...

    Materials January 23, 2020
  • Triangles that can more than hold their own

    Kirigami inspires a batch of strong structures with potential.

    Kirigami will become more famous than origami if scientists keep up the current pace. Late last year Cosmos describe...

    Materials January 22, 2020
  • Medical devices you ingest and forget

    All you need is a special gel and an LED light.

    Medical devices can be inserted into the human gastrointestinal tract to treat, diagnose or monitor a range of disord...

    Materials January 20, 2020
  • Yes indeed, that’s cement setting

    Using optical properties to try to create a greener process.

    It’s been quite a week for cement stories in Cosmos. First, we reported on attempts to create a living concrete by co...

    Materials January 19, 2020
  • How to create living concrete

    Bacteria potential in a new world of construction.

    US researchers have created what they call a living concrete by combining sand and bacteria. It’s early days, but th...

    Materials January 15, 2020
  • Fold me a machine

    The continuing quest for technology inspired by kirigami

    For some time, engineers and mathematicians have been intrigued by the ancient Japanese art of kirigami (similar to t...

    Materials December 16, 2019
  • History

    Irving Colburn's shining light

    His ideas made mass production of glass for windows possible.

    The English language is filled with glass references: people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones; a particularly v...

    Materials December 15, 2019
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