World’s blackest black? Purdue made the world’s whitest white

In paint form, the world's "whitest white" reflects so much light that surfaces become cooler than the surrounding air.

Credit: yuravector/Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • Scientists at Purdue University announce the whitest white ever developed. It will be available as paint and a nanofilm.
  • The new paint can actually cool surfaces on which it's applied, potentially reducing the need for climate-unfriendly air conditioners.
  • This is the second whitest white to come from these researchers, and they believe this is about as white as any material could ever be.
Keep reading Show less

Smartly dressed: Researchers develop clothes that sense movement via touch

Measuring a person's movements and poses, smart clothes could be used for athletic training, rehabilitation, or health-monitoring.

In recent years there have been exciting breakthroughs in wearable technologies, like smartwatches that can monitor your breathing and blood oxygen levels.

Keep reading Show less

Cornell creates the world’s tiniest self-folding origami bird

The bird demonstrates cutting-edge technology for devising self-folding nanoscale robots.

Credit: Cornell University
  • Scientists at Cornell University have developed a self-folding origami bird that's just 60 microns wide.
  • The bird is just one of many tiny robots roaming Cornell's labs.
  • One day, microscopic robots will be able to autonomously form themselves and get to work in all sort of itty-bitty spaces.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Scientists use chaos to build the optimal laser beam

    Researchers find a way to distort laser light to survive a trip through disordered obstacles.

    Credit: TU Wien
    • Lasers are great for measuring—if they can get a clear view of their target.
    • In biomedical applications, there's often disordered stuff in the way of objects needing measurement.
    • A new technique leverages that disorder to formulate a custom-made, optimal laser light beam.
    Keep reading Show less

    From NASA to your table: A history of food from thin air

    A fairly old idea, but a really good one, is about to hit the store shelves.

    Credit: Brian McGowan/Unsplash/mipan/Adobe Stock/Big Think
    • The idea of growing food from CO2 dates back to NASA 50 years ago.
    • Two companies are bringing high-quality, CO2-derived protein to market.
    • CO2-based foods provide an environmentally benign way of producing the protein we need to live.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast