by Michael Keller
Over the last decade, materials scientists have been trying really hard to keep from getting wet. To that end, they’ve made huge strides developing coatings that so thoroughly repel dirt and water, they seem almost magic. Their secret? Recreating the nanoscale structures that some organisms employ to stay clean and dry and to redirect liquid flow.
Among researchers’ muses from the natural world are the stenocara beetle, lotus and nasturtium leaves, and the wings of butterflies. The National Science Foundation has compiled some compelling visual examples of natural and synthesized superhydrophobic surfaces. See the full video below.
circumhorizontal arcs photographed by (click pic) david england, andy cripe, del zane, todd sackmann and brandon rios. this atmospheric phenomenon, otherwise known as a fire rainbow, is created when light from a sun that is at least 58 degrees above the horizon passes through the hexagonal ice crystals that form cirrus clouds which, because of quick cloud formation, have become horizontally aligned. (see also: previous cloud posts)
How diamonds and lasers can recreate Jupiter’s core
Understanding what the insides of the biggest planets in the universe has been largely wrapped up in theories. Now scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab have recreated these conditions with the help of diamonds and the world’s largest laser:
Though diamond is the least compressible material known, the researchers were able to compress it to an unprecedented density, greater than lead at ambient conditions.
The hope is to understand how these planets evolve over time by being able to reproduce their immense pressures. You can read more about it here.
Crystals from the lab: This project on Behance is a small collection of the various crystals formed from different compounds in the past few years of research what has been done in the laboratory where I work.
For more adorable picture from crystals, visit: Crystals from the lab on Behance