Friday, September 30, 2016

Glass explosion at 343,000 FPS! - The Slow Mo Guys

38 degrees out in July in Texas? That doesn't seem all that hot to me.

Of course, I'm assuming that they're in Fahrenheit because I'm American. If the Slow Mo Guys are resolutely not going to use specific units, I'm going to assume whatever units I want.

This video, by the way, is brilliant.

The guys take kitchen-grade pyrex (really tempered soda lime glass not the lab-grade borosilicate glass) measuring cups and subject them to drastic thermal shock - propane torch then ice cold water. The real money shot happens at 5:38.

Then there's an outstanding comparison of the speed of glass shattering to human reaction time at 7:15. The glass shatters - spoiler alert - way faster than an eyelid can blink shut.

Then, at 8:30 we get an explanation of thermal shock and what's happening with the expansion/contraction dichotomy with the glass.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Hidden World of Chocolate

That doesn't look like anything I would want to eat. No matter how tempered it is, I'm not tempted.

The post where I found this is from PopSci, but the original video is from Johns Hopkins. It's kind of interesting to see chocolate under the scanning electron microscope, especially since chocolate has a whole bunch of crystal structures.

"Material science literally is studying stuff. Anything that you can feel, anything that you can use, we can make it stronger. We can make it lighter."

Yeah, that's about right.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

3D technology recreates 2,000-year-old monument

The video above cuts off a bit short of the full video found on the BBC's website.

It's fascinating here to see that an original monument has been recreated - or copied, really - in dispute of its destruction by ISIS (Daesh). 'Recreated' seems a little off to me because the original would have been made of stone blocks held together by mortar, but the new version is much larger blocks carved (CNC'ed really) to look like the smaller blocks are held together by metal rods through the center of each block.

Clearly, this isn't the original, but it's an interesting recreation.

Old CDs recycled into valuable plastic

When I first saw this article about recycling CDs (polycarbonate polymers), I was hopeful that we would get a new lab for material science. The above diagram, however, isn't exactly a step-by-step procedure.

And the full text of the article isn't available without a subscription.

I do appreciate the attempts to further our recycling options for plastics, however, as I find myself throwing out a lot of CDs because they can't easily be recycled in single-stream recycling programs.

Of course, there are other options than throwing the CDs out...