Tag: materials

What Makes Spider-Man’s Web So Strong?

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 | Tags: , ,

Spider-Man’s webs are pretty impressive, capable of supporting Spidey’s weight as he swings through New York, trapping super-villains and even suspending cars above city streets. What are they made of? And how are they made? Spider webs are notoriously strong, with spider silk reported as having a tensile strength of up to 1.75 gigapascals (GPa),

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Why Captain America’s Shield Is Basically a Star-Spangled Supercapacitor

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 | Tags: , ,

Captain America’s shield is famous for absorbing tremendous amounts of kinetic energy, from an artillery shell to a punch from the Hulk – keeping Cap not only safe, but on his feet.  What’s going on here? It’s tough to explain how the shield works, in part because it behaves differently under different circumstances. Sometimes the

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Why a New Catalyst for Hydrogen Production May Be a Big Deal

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 | Tags: , , ,

A research team led by Linyou Cao at NC State has shown that a one-atom thick film of molybdenum sulfide (MoS2  ) may work as an effective catalyst for creating hydrogen. Hydrogen holds great promise as an energy source, but the production of hydrogen from water electrolysis – freeing hydrogen from water with electricity –

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How Changing the Way We Study Gold Could Boost Communication Tech

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 | Tags: , ,

Under the right circumstances, pushing on nothing is harder than pushing on something – at least when that “something” is gold. That’s the finding from a new materials science paper, and it’s a finding that could expedite the development of new wireless communication technologies. The Problem At issue are ohmic radio frequency microelectricalmechanical systems switches

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Smaller than Small: Why We Measure the Space between Atoms

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 | Tags: ,

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jacob Jones, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State. We study the movement of incredibly small things. How small is small? Think smaller than “nano.” Think smaller than atoms themselves. We measure the infinitesimally small shifts in the positions of atoms to electrical

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