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Today in Science Blog Posts

Unexpected Uses of Magnetic Levitation

May 17, 2013

Magnetic levitation, or maglev, involves suspending materials with magnetic fields. When gravity, acceleration, and other forces weigh down on an object, they can all be counteracted by magnetic pressure. Some uses that may appear to go completely against nature can actually be explained by fundamental science.

The Graphene Revolution: Part 3

April 10, 2013

Everyone’s talking about graphene right now. When was the last time a material received this much attention? Sure, other materials have peaked our interest before, but when something breaks into more mainstream news you know it’s going to be a very big deal.

The Graphene Revolution: Part 1

March 12, 2013

Graphene is a special type of material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Graphene in its stable form was discovered at the University of Manchester in 2003 (coincidentally while I was there studying for my Masters degree) and resulted in Nobel Prizes in 2010 for the two researchers who discovered it. Recently, graphene has been making the mainstream news; the European Commission has pledged €1 billion (yes, that’s billion with a b) to […]

A Better File Format for 3D Printing to Replace STL?

August 8, 2012

I have previously blogged about 3D printing and how it would be great if you could go from model to product in one step. Now it seems as though the Stereolithography (STL) file format is reaching its limits for being useful as a standard for this type of application. The printers themselves, and what they are capable of, are outstripping the abilities of the file formats to support their new capabilities. Moves are being made to develop a better file […]

3D Printing: Hottest Topic in Manufacturing

July 27, 2012

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is more widely known as, is on everybody’s mind right now. Manufacturing folks, engineers, and even the general public have taken an interest in 3D printing. In other words, this is not just a fascinating phenomenon to those in the industry — additive manufacturing has been generally accepted as the next “cool” thing in manufacturing.

Singing Sand Leads to Many Questions

July 11, 2012

I know, I know… I should spend the weekend relaxing. But every place I visit offers me a variety of natural phenomena I wasn’t aware of and, as an engineer and a multiphysics enthusiast, I can’t help but sit in the sun jotting down a list of the physics involved – possible coupling mechanisms, boundary conditions, materials, and so on (we talked about stereotypes attached to engineer on our Facebook page in May).

SAWs are also used to Manipulate and Mix

June 26, 2012

I have always connected Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs) as phenomena useful for sensors; where SAW devices act as the medium that transfers mechanical energy (of what you’re measuring) to electrical (what’s used to measure it). SAWs would occur at the surface of a piezoelectric device, mechanically changing it, and then the resulting electrical behavior would be used to provide the measurement. We have a great example that shows how such things can be modeled in a SAW gas sensor.

Follow-Up on Venus Transit of the Sun 2012

June 8, 2012

After reading about the COMSOL users over at MACCOR in David’s blog post I decided to watch Venus’ transit of the Sun live via their online stream from Tulsa, OK. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I, like many people around the world, did not want to miss.