Researchers Hide Objects with Mirage Effect
Scientists have created a working cloaking device using sheets of carbon nanotubes which create the “mirage effect” observed in deserts or on long roads in the summer.
What's the Latest Development?
Scientists have created a working cloaking device which harnesses the ability of sheets of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to conduct heat and transfer it to surrounding areas, thus creating the mirage effect observed in deserts or on long, hot roads—an optical phenomenon due to light rays bending to produce a displaced image of distant objects. A steep temperature gradient causes light rays to bend away from an object concealed behind the new device, making it 'invisible.'
What's the Big Idea?
Though it sounds like something Harry Potter would use, there are more practical applications. For instance, the research results provide useful insights into the optimization of nanotube sheets as thermoacoustic projectors for loudspeaker and sonar applications, where sound is produced by heating using an alternating electrical current.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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