Electrons in graphene behave like water, not like a metal

Graphene. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Graphene is an atom thick sheet of carbon arranged in a honeycomb-shaped lattice. Its properties are remarkable as far as industrial applications go: it’s the strongest material in the world and has a fantastic electrical conductor, ulimited heat conductivity, it’s more sensitive than human skin, and has many other uses. Its physics however are not that well understand, too. A recent paper unraveled some hidden things about how graphene subparticles behave, and these findings couldn’t be more surprising. Though technically a metal, the electrons inside graphene behave like a liquid traveling very fast in waves. Physicists say these remarkable properties could help bridge quantum mechanics and relativistic physics

ELI5: Gravitational Waves edition

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The existence of gravitational waves has been confirmed. But you probably heard that already. In this post, we will break down this profound discovery into more understandable chunks.

Rabbit brain is cryogenically frozen, then thawed with no apparent damage

The rabbit brain after being thawed. Image: 21st Century Medicine

Today, some people are freezing their bodies or heads at death in hopes of future cures for what ails them. Alas, these people are likely gone forever because the damage to the brain is far too critical. With this in mind, despite an enthusiastic decade in the ’80s for cryonics, the field has been rarely touched by serious scientists. A group of researchers may spark interest again after they report freezing rabbit and pig brains, then returning them from preservation apparently in mint condition as if they were never iced. This lends hope that just maybe it would be possible to do the same for human brains just before the person dies, and thaw it in proper working condition when the tech is there to revive them.

Arctic tundras might shift to carbon emitters, driving more warming

frozen tundra

One landmark study suggests that the tundras are shifting their role as a result of climate change turning into carbon sources, with a net positive release of carbon into the atmosphere.

Mysterious, ancient cemetery found in Germany

Overgrown cemetery overlooking the Danube, in Romania. Photo by Sb2s3.

It all started when archaeologists working in Germany made a surprising discovery, uncovering the bodies of children and of one adult man who was buried, strangely, standing upright. The cemetery was dated to 8,500 years, being one of the oldest – if not the oldest – ever found on the continent. The cemetery dates from the Mesolithic, a time when most

China becomes greatest producer of wind energy

Photo by Chris Lim.

Almost 50% of all new wind turbines in 2015 were built in China. Considering that, it’s no surprise that the country has become the biggest producer of wind energy. But China is showing that its determination in greening its economy is real and it’s not slowing down. According to statistics released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Wednesday, China installed 30,500 megawatts

Officials ask researcher to stop sharing science papers – but shouldn’t science be free?

Photo by The Firebottle.

She’s been called everything from a pirate to the Robin Hood of science. Alexandra Elbakyan put up a portal that now gives access over 48 million journal articles – the greater part of everything that’s ever been published. Despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world’s biggest publishers she’s refusing to take it down… and we feel that’s

Scientists shuttle data at 1.125 Tbps or 50,000 more than your average UK broadband

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British researchers at the University College London set the record for the fastest data transfer rate: a mind-boggling 1.225 Tbps/second. That’s 50,000 faster than the average UK broadband (24 MBs/s) or just fast enough to download the entire Game of Thrones series in HD in just one freaking second.

Novel polymer changes shape just by touching with a finger — lifts 1,000 times its own weight doing so

A multiple-exposure image of a new shape-memory polymer reverting to its original shape after being exposed to body temperature. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

This polymer can change shape and release tremendous amounts of stored elastic energy relative to its weight simply by being exposed to a temperature change. This in itself isn’t exactly new, but the team led by Chemical Engineering Professor Mitch Anthamatten at the University of Rochester innovated by making the polymer react to room temperature — a first.

U.S. teachers often misinform school children about climate change

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While around 97% of active climate change researchers (the most qualified) agree that global warming is real and caused by humans, the same can’t be said about the general populace. One study surveyed 1,500 middle school and high school teachers across all 50 states and found only 67 percent agreed that “global warming is caused mostly by human activities,” which is strikingly similar to how the average American feels. You’d think school teachers should know better, though.