Category Archives: New and Interesting

Electric Charge, Surfactants, Bubble Nucleation, and …

… Boiling of Water! Here’s a neat video about the work. Here’s a quote from an MIT News story on the research: “The whole concept relies on the fact that whether a surface is hydrophobic or hydrophilic will affect the … Continue reading

Posted in New and Interesting, Popular Science, Thermo | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Computational Look into Melting Predicts a Very High Melting Compound

This paper from Axel van de Walle’s group sounds interesting: Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point [see also this WaPo story]: The experimental record-holder is a substance made from the elements hafnium, tantalum, and carbon (Hf-Ta-C). But these new … Continue reading

Posted in New and Interesting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Microstructures are everywhere!

The backstory behind this stunning, prize-winning image is as interesting as the image itslef, which is from a half-millimeter sized splatter of water on a silicon chip, almost at its edge.

Posted in New and Interesting, Popular Science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Volleyballene!

One more theoretical prediction about a supermolecule with 20 selenium atoms and 60 carbon atoms whose architecture resembles that of a volleyball (arXiv link to the paper): The simulation gives a remarkably detailed picture of the properties of the new … Continue reading

Posted in Extreme Materials, New and Interesting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Moire Animals!

If you know something about Moiré fringes (in materials, we encounter them primarily in transmission electron microscopy; see also the Wikipedia entry on Moiré patterns), you will appreciate Andrea Minini’s Animals in Moiré, a collection of black and white illustrations.

Posted in New and Interesting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Giant, Gorgeous Crystals

Here’s a video trailer for a 50-minute long movie entitled The Mystery of the Giant Crystals which “has been made freely available by Madrid Scientific Films and Triana Sci & Tech with the support of the International Union of Crystallography … Continue reading

Posted in Extreme Materials, New and Interesting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A computational look into melting

Here’s a neat computational study published in last week’s Science: Microscopic mechanisms of equilibrium melting of a solid by Amit Samanta, Mark E. Tuckerman, Tang-Qing Yu, Weinan E [though you might first want to read the commentary — Melting mechanisms: … Continue reading

Posted in New and Interesting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Undersea Microstructures

From Nadia Drake’s Ars Technica story: Mysterious Undersea “Crop Circles” Finally Explained: In 2011, scientists determined that the rings themselves were made of eelgrass, a native type of seagrass that hosts small fish and other crustaceans. Late last year, after … Continue reading

Posted in New and Interesting, Popular Science | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How do materials respond to hydrostatic pressure?

Thermodynamic stability demands that the compressibility, , be positive. This means that the volume should decrease with increasing pressure. For fluids (gases and liquids), the volume decrease is accomplished by an equal decrease in linear dimensions along all directions. This … Continue reading

Posted in Extreme Materials, New and Interesting, Thermo | 1 Comment

Melting point of iron at 800,000 atm!

Since we were just talking about the effect of pressure on the melting and boiling temperatures of pure materials, here’s an interesting news item. Recent research at Caltech suggests that the melting point of iron at high pressures of 10 … Continue reading

Posted in New and Interesting, Thermo | Leave a comment