Tag Archives: force

Not Much Force: Berkeley Researchers Detect Smallest Force Ever Measured

What is believed to be the smallest force ever measured has been detected by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. Using a combination of lasers and a unique optical trapping system that provides a cloud of ultracold atoms, the researchers measured a force of approximately 42 yoctonewtons. A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton and there are approximately 3 x 1023 yoctonewtons in one ounce of force. (more…)

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New study reveals insights on plate tectonics, the forces behind earthquakes, volcanoes

The Earth’s outer layer is made up of a series of moving, interacting plates whose motion at the surface generates earthquakes, creates volcanoes and builds mountains. Geoscientists have long sought to understand the plates’ fundamental properties and the mechanisms that cause them to move and drift, and the questions have become the subjects of lively debate.

A study published online Feb. 27 by the journal Science is a significant step toward answering those questions. (more…)

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SOFS Take to Water

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry Create First Soluble 2D Supramolecular Organic Frameworks

Supramolecular chemistry, aka chemistry beyond the molecule, in which molecules and molecular complexes are held together by non-covalent bonds, is just beginning to come into its own with the emergence of nanotechnology. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are commanding much of the attention because of their appetite for greenhouse gases, but a new player has joined the field – supramolecular organic frameworks (SOFs). Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have unveiled the first two-dimensional SOFs that self-assemble in solution, an important breakthrough that holds implications for sensing and separation technologies, energy sciences, and, perhaps most importantly, biomimetics. (more…)

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Easy come, easy grow

Sperm cell release can be triggered by tightening the grip around the delivery organ, according to a team of nano and microsystems engineers and plant biologists at the University of Montreal and Concordia University. Concordia’s nanobiotech team devised a microchip that enabled the University of Montreal biologists to observe what happened when pollen tubes – the sperm delivery tools used by plants – tried to negotiate a microscopic obstacle course. The pollen tubes were exposed to a series of narrow, elastic openings resulting in a variety of cellular responses. When the opening was too narrow or tight, pollen tube growth stalled. However, the elongating tubes successfully penetrated slightly larger openings. Curiously, the pollen tubes burst and released the sperm cells when passing openings of a particular size relative to the pollen tube width. (more…)

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Chew on this

How a ‘motor mouth’ is changing dentistry

If you want your dental fillings, crowns, implants, and so on to last, you can thank ART.

Chewing involves some of the human body’s most complex motions, and ART, the artificial mouth at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, can perform a year’s worth of chewing—300,000 cycles—in just a day or two. (more…)

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Size of Lunch Dictates Force of Crunch

Even in the same animal, not all bites are the same. A new study finds that because the force in a muscle depends on how much it is stretched, an animal’s bite force depends on the size of what it is biting. The finding has direct implications for ecology and evolution.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Many animals prefer food — snails, nuts, etc. — that must be cracked and crushed. Scientists have measured the maximum force of their impressive bites before, but a new study introduces a significant subtlety: bite force depends not only on the size and strength of the eater, but also the size of the eatee. That insight has important implications in the lives of predators and prey. (more…)

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Going Big

UD researchers report progress in development of carbon nanotube-based continuous fibers

The Chou research group in the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering recently reported on advances in carbon nanotube-based continuous fibers with invited articles in Advanced Materials and Materials Today, two high impact scientific journals.

According to Tsu-Wei Chou, Pierre S. du Pont Chair of Engineering, who co-authored the articles with colleagues Weibang Lu and Amanda Wu, there has been a concerted scientific effort over the last decade to “go big” – to translate the superb physical and mechanical properties of nanoscale carbon nanotubes to the macroscale. (more…)

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Gecko Feet Don’t Stick Around

The lizards have gained and lost adhesive toes many times

Who wouldn’t envy the little gecko as it dashes up a smooth wall or hangs from a ceiling by a toe?

An engineer’s dream, gecko feet combine the best of duct tape and Post-It® Notes: They stick, but they don’t stay stuck.

The drive to duplicate gecko feats technologically is a hot area of research. Would-be designers of such a technology should note a new study of geckos’ evolutionary history that could simplify their task immensely. (more…)

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