Sunday, April 27, 2014
We're working on understanding the stress-strain curves today at master teacher training at the ASM dome (love this place), so I'm searching for examples of a tensile test being performed at the same time that a stress-strain curve is being generated.
First find...a concrete pillar being tested.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
We've been through various electronic microscopes through the years - from Ken-a-Vision, primarily, and also through some other makers. As electronics have shurnken and cheapened, though, the market has opened up.
Last year we got to see - and I had a student of mine make me - a microscope support for your smartphone. That took some plexiglass, a few long bolts, an LED flashlight, and a couple of laser pointer lenses.
That's cute, and all, but now there's a similar project that can be made for only fifty cents.
The plexiglass stand can't top that.
Other materials aren't magnetic.
I've seen non-magnetic items changed into being magnetic.
I've even seen magnetic items changed into being non-magnetic.
The idea of having an item changing back and forth from being magnetic to non-magnetic with a simple temperature change is pretty foreign to my experiences, but that's exactly what Ivan Schuller, of the U of California, San Diego has done.
To quote from the article at bbc.com,
The material combines thin layers of nickel and vanadium oxide, creating a structure that is surprisingly responsive to heat.Oh, and that's Dr Schuller there to the right.
"We can control the magnetism in just a narrow range of temperature - without applying a magnetic field. And in principle we could also control it with voltage or current," said Prof Schuller.
"At low temperatures, the oxide is an insulator. At high temperatures it's a metal. And in between it becomes this strange material," he said.
In the March 2014 issue they provided a one-page summary of four environmentally-friendly building materials.
Yes, making your own 'Magic Mud' instead of just buying cornstarch and mixing it up sounds like a whole lot of extra work.
Yes, it's certainly cheaper to buy a box of conrstarch than to buy a whole five-pound bag of spuds.
But think of all the hasbrowns you can make (in case there isn't a Waffle House close enough to where you live.)
Honestly, though, I might offer this up as an extra credit opportunity for some of my students.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Admittedly, today's post isn't anything research-based or anything. It's a webcomic that mentions metamaterials. It's chucklesome but only if you look really closely at the final panel's reveal of the flowers' true colors.
Not surprisingly (if you're a regular xkcd - the source of the comic - reader) metamaterials are real. I need to do more research before I find out whether the effect shown in the comic is possible.
Here's what I've found so far in thirty seconds of research...