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Saturday, January 31, 2015

ScienceDaily: Engineering and Construction News

ScienceDaily: Engineering and Construction News

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory

Posted: 30 Jan 2015 06:14 PM PST

A new study adds to the growing evidence supporting a theory that strange electronic behaviors -- including high-temperature superconductivity and heavy fermion physics -- arise from quantum fluctuations of strongly correlated electrons.

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability

Posted: 30 Jan 2015 10:28 AM PST

If you can't find the ideal material, then design a new one. By manipulating the ordered arrangement of atoms in layered complex oxide materials, scientists have found a way to control their electronic band gaps, which determines the electrical behavior of the material and how it interacts with light.

Understanding the reinforcing ability of carbon nanotubes

Posted: 30 Jan 2015 07:25 AM PST

A new article explores what is preventing the reinforcing ability of carbon nanotubes from being used in a ceramic matrix. Ever since their discovery, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered the ultimate additive to improve the mechanical properties of structural ceramics, such as aluminum oxide, silicon nitride and zirconium dioxide. Yet despite the remarkable strength and stiffness of CNTs, many studies have reported only marginal improvements or even the degradation of mechanical properties after these super-materials were added.

Crystal light: New family of light-converting materials points to cheaper, more efficient solar power and LEDs

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 02:03 PM PST

Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs. The materials, called perovskites, are particularly good at absorbing visible light, but had never been thoroughly studied in their purest form: as perfect single crystals. Using a new technique, researchers grew large, pure perovskite crystals and studied how electrons move through the material as light is converted to electricity.

New imaging technology to design, build greener, safer aircraft

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 08:37 AM PST

New research is helping to develop new imaging technology to be used in the design, manufacture and maintenance for current and future generations of carbon composite aircraft. Two new non-destructive testing processes for the detection of flaws in composite aerospace components are being developed, designers report, for scanning and visualizing the insides of large, flat components using X-rays. 

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