UC Berkeley Professor Alison Gopnik is the speaker for tomorrow’s Nano*High lecture, starting at 10 a.m. in 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building on campus. During her talk, “”Babies and Toddlers: They are Smarter Than We Are,” Gopnik will discuss the techniques she has developed that allow us to see how young children use the limited evidence around them to determine causality. Nano*High talks are geared towards high school students. Lab staff are welcome if space allows. Go here for more information and to register.
Posts Tagged ‘Materials Sciences Division’
Feng Wang of the Materials Sciences Division led the development of a technique that permits researchers to image the structure of an individual carbon nanotube and characterize its electronic and optical properties in a functional device. Despite their almost incomprehensibly small size – about one ten-thousandth the thickness of a human hair – single-walled carbon nanotubes come in a plethora of different structures, each with unique electronic and optical properties. Until now, characterizing an individual carbon nanotube has involved a lot of guesswork. Working with Feng were Kaihui Liu, Xiaoping Hong, Qin Zhou, Chenhao Jin, Jinghua Li, Weiwei Zhou, Jie Liu, Enge Wang and Alex Zettl. More>
A recent study led by Robert Ritchie of the Materials Sciences Division of the remarkably tough scales of Arapaima gigas, an air-breathing fish in the Amazon Basin that can swim with impunity through piranha-infested waters, generated a swell of media attention. Overlooked, however, was the critical role played by the Advanced Light Source’s beamline 7.3.3. Using SAXS imaging, Ritchie and his colleagues unlocked the secrets behind Arapaima’s natural dermal armor, which can stand-up to almost double the pressure of a U.S. nuclear submarine hull. Also working on this study were Marc Meyers, Elizabeth Zimmermann, Bernd Gludovatz, Eric Schaible, Neil Dave and Wen Yang. More>
The schedule of talks for the 2013-2014 Nano-High series has been announced. Topics include the human microbiome, the design (and bolts) of the new Bay Bridge (by the Caltrans chief engineer), how infants learn, computer security, MRI, and how to become a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and take an idea from the laboratory to the boardroom and the marketplace. Lab staff are encouraged to urge their high school-age children to attend. Staff are also welcome on a space-available basis. Talks are at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. More>
Taking inspiration from the human immune system, MSD researchers have created a new material that can be programmed to identify an endless variety of molecules. The new material resembles tiny sheets of Velcro, each just one hundred nanometers across. But instead of securing your sneakers, this molecular Velcro mimics the way natural antibodies recognize viruses and toxins, and could lead to a new class of biosensors. More>
“What’s So Scary About Chemistry? A Halloween Talk” takes place on Thursday, Oct 31, at 6:30 pm, at the Actual Cafe. Some people think there are just too many chemicals in our lives. But there is an alternative to what most of us think of as traditional chemistry and it’s called green chemistry. The goal of green chemistry is to minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances while still creating necessary and effective products – like dish soap. Join former Berkeley Lab materials scientist Marty Mulvihill, Director of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, as he explains the philosophy and practice of green chemistry and how it can have a huge and positive impact on the world in which we live.
Most vacation videos are destined for the digital attic; often treasured, but seldom seen. Not so, the astonishing two-minute sequence shot by Berkeley Lab nanotechnologist Kedar Hippalgaonkar during a motorboat tour of a jaguar refuge in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands. He and his wife, Tech Transfer’s Parul Jain, hoped for a glimpse of the big cats. Instead they witnessed a rare daylight hunt by swimming jaguar, which creeps ashore, surprises, and kills a 120-pound caiman sunning on a spit of sand; all captured on digital camera. Posted last month on YouTube, the Berkeley Lab couple’s dramatic vacation video has 34 million hits — and counting. More>
Years of experiments on various types of high-temperature (high-Tc) superconductors — materials that offer hope for energy-saving applications such as zero-loss electrical power lines — have turned up an amazing array of complex behaviors among the electrons that in some instances pair up to carry current with no resistance, and in others stop the flow of current in its tracks. The variety of these exotic electronic phenomena is a key reason it has been so hard to identify unifying concepts to explain why high-Tc superconductivity occurs in these promising materials. Now a research team including Dung-Hai Lee of the Lab’s Materials Sciences Division may have some clues as to why. More>
[National Geographic] A study led by Berkeley Lab materials scientist Robert Ritchie has explained how the arapaima, a giant South American fish, has evolved piranha-proof armor. Ritchie studied the fish’s scales to see how the mineralized hardness of the outer layer works with the collagen fibers of the inner layer to repel the piranha’s jaws. He calls the inner layer a “Liberace-type spiral staircase” that shape-shifts to realign and face the direction of force. The structure could inspire human engineers who are designing new types of body armor, he says. More>
To commemorate its 80th anniversary, the Journal of Chemical Physics selected 80 articles published in the Journal over the past 80 years as highlights in chemistry research. Among those selected was a paper published in 1973 for which Alex Pines of the Materials Sciences Division was the lead author. The paper, titled “Proton-enhanced NMR of dilute spins in solids,” described how the NMR signals of dilute nuclear spins in solids could be enhanced by repeatedly transferring polarization from a more abundant species to which they were coupled. The corresponding author was the renowned chemist John Stewart Waugh of MIT. Go here to view the list of 80 papers.