Tag: physics

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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Wide Left: Study Shows that Holders Play Key Role in Field Goal Accuracy

Monday, September 9th, 2013 | Tags: , , ,

NFL and college football teams are back in action, and their success often hinges on the accuracy of their field goal kickers. When the field goals are made, kickers are heroes. When they miss, they’re goats. But a study by aerospace researchers shows that kickers aren’t always at fault – the way the ball is

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Iron Man, Reverse Engineering and the Future of Materials Science

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 | Tags: , ,

Iron Man 3 isn’t out yet, but the first two movies (and decades of Iron Man comics) raise some interesting questions about how scientists can create and utilize new materials – like the energy source for Iron Man’s suit. For those who have been shut off from pop culture, here’s a recap of the first

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The Heat Is On To Understand Thermal Transport between Materials

Monday, March 18th, 2013 | Tags: , , ,

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Losego, a research assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State. Losego recently co-authored a News and Views article about nanoscale heat flow in Nature Materials with David Cahill of the University of Illinois. The basics of heat flow have long been overlooked, but

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Thor’s Hammer Is Not That Heavy (But It Is Scientifically Interesting)

Friday, February 15th, 2013 | Tags: , ,

In early February, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said on Twitter that the superhero Thor’s Hammer (aka Mjolnir) “weighs as much as a herd of 300 billion elephants.” News outlets pounced on this, and the news was quickly circulating online. Sadly, Tyson was wrong. Tyson’s reasoning was based on the idea that Mjolnir was “made of

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