Tag Archives | Temperature


Spacesuits get skintight makeover

To provide better freedom of movement for astronauts, MIT scientists are designing a skintight spacesuit that uses shape-memory alloys to effectively shrink-wrap the suit around the astronaut’s body. The development of the second-skin spacesuit could see the end of the conventional, bulky, gas-pressurized suit. Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, explained […]

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Missing tree rings invalidate climate reconstructions

Penn State researchers have called into question the common practice of using tree rings to reconstruct past climate events, showing that tree rings are sometimes completely absent for very cold years. The new findings, presented in Nature Geoscience, are based on a comparison of tree ring temperature reconstructions and simulations of past temperature changes. “We […]

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Casimir Force Gets Hot And Sticky

Physicists at JILA (a joint initiative of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder) have shown that when a surface is warmed, the Casimir-Polder force it exerts becomes stronger. The Casimir-Polder force, one of the stranger effects of quantum mechanics, arises from the ever-present random fluctuation of […]

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Mountains Creating Atmospheric Hotspots

Wind gusts that blow over mountains and hills can create hotspots high in the atmosphere and significantly affect regional air temperatures, say researchers writing in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics. Their study reports that such winds can create high-frequency acoustic waves that can stimulate a 1,000-degree Celsius spike in the thermosphere at altitudes of […]

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Real-World Quantum Effects Demonstrated

The realm of quantum mechanics met the world of classical physics when an antenna-like sliver of silicon one-tenth the width of a human hair oscillated in a Boston University lab. With two sets of protrusions, much like the teeth from a two-sided comb, the antenna not only exhibits the first quantum nanomechanical motion but is […]

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Super Greenhouse Gases Could Help Terraform Mars

A team of researchers believe that introducing global warming on Mars may be the best approach for warming the planet’s frozen landscape and turning it into a habitable world in the future. The report, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, suggests that seeding synthetic “super” greenhouse gases into the Martian atmosphere could raise the […]

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New Technology Heralds Smaller, Cooler Fuel Cells

New technology in thin film solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) currently being refined at the University of Houston (UH) could make cheap, efficient fuel cells a reality. Originating from research at UH’s Texas Center for Superconductivity and Advanced Materials (TcSAM), these SOFCs of the “thin film” variety are both efficient and compact. “By using materials […]

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