Week in Science (23 – 29 May 2021)

Science News related to Atomic Level Engineering, Warm Ice Fracture, New State of Matter, Dark Matter Map, Spacetime Crystals, Shiny Mega-Crystals, Walking Robots


Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Engineering Matter at The Atomic Level


Source: RIKEN 25 May 2021


As devices continue to be built on an increasingly small scale, scientists are looking toward developing ways to engineer materials at the atomic level. In a breakthrough that will contribute to this, researchers have developed a way to use a “dry transfer technique” — a technique that uses no solvent — to position optical quality carbon nanotubes in a precise way.

2. Warm Ice May Fracture Differently Than Cold Ice


Source: Aalto University 26 May 2021


Researchers have found strong evidence that warm ice – that is, ice very close in temperature to zero degrees Celsius – may fracture differently than the kinds of ice typically studied in laboratories or nature. A new study takes a closer look at the phenomenon, studied at the world’s largest indoor ice tank on Aalto’s campus.


Original written by: Katrina Jurva

3. Study Of Promising Photovoltaic Material Leads to Discovery of a New State of Matter


Source: McGill University 26 May 2021


Researchers have gained new insight into the workings of perovskites, a semiconductor material that shows great promise for making high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells and a range of other optical and electronic devices. Their experiments have uncovered quantum dot-like behaviour taking place in pieces of perovskite significantly larger than quantum dots.

4. Dark Matter Map Reveals Hidden Bridges Between Galaxies


Source: Penn State 27 May 2021


A new map of dark matter in the local universe reveals several previously undiscovered filamentary structures connecting galaxies. The map, developed using machine learning by an international team could enable studies about the nature of dark matter as well as about the history and future of our local universe.


Original written by: Gail McCormick

5. Spacetime Crystals Proposed by Placing Space and Time on An Equal Footing


Source: Penn State 27 May 2021


A scientist studying crystal structures has developed a new mathematical formula that may solve a decades-old problem in understanding spacetime, the fabric of the universe proposed in Einstein’s theories of relativity.

6. Shiny Mega-Crystals That Build Themselves


Source: Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) 27 May 2021


An international team is playing with shape-engineered nanoscale building blocks that are up to 100-times larger than atoms and ions. And although these nano "Lego bricks" interact with each other with forces vastly different and much weaker than those holding atoms and ions together, they form crystals all by themselves, the structures of which resemble the ones of natural minerals. These new mega-crystals or superlattices exhibit unique properties such as superfluorescence – and may well usher in a new era in materials science.


Original written by: Rainer Klose

7. A Helping Hand for Working Robots


Source: DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology) 27 May 2021


Researchers have developed and tested a new type of human-like mechanical hand that combines the benefits of existing robot hands while eliminating their weaknesses. The research team investigated the idea that a partially-compliant robot hand, using a rigid link connected to a structure known as a Crossed Flexural Hinge (CFH), could increase the robot’s lifting power while minimizing damage in the event of a collision. Generally, a CFH is made of two strips of metal arranged in an X-shape that can flex or bend in one position while remaining rigid in others, without creating friction.


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