WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers have taken a step toward practical applications for "hyperbolic metamaterials," ultra-thin crystalline films that could bring optical advances including powerful microscopes, quantum computers and high-performance solar cells. New developments are reminiscent of advances that ushered in silicon chip technology, said Alexandra Boltasseva, a Purdue University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Purdue Study: Climate Change Consensus Extends Beyond Climate Scientists
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University-led survey of nearly 700 scientists from non-climate disciplines shows that more than 90 percent believe that average global temperatures are higher than pre-1800s levels and that human activity has significantly contributed to the rise. The study is the first to show that consensus on human-caused climate change extends beyond climate scientists to the broader scientific community, said Linda Prokopy, a professor of natural resource social science.
Study Reveals Need for Better Understanding of Water Use
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A new study reveals a pressing need to better understand water use in America's rivers, with implications for drought-stricken regions of the country. Findings from the study showed that virtually all of the water entering the Wabash River in Indiana during summer months is withdrawn and then returned to the waterway.
A Detector Shines in Search for Dark Matter
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter. The team of international scientists involved in the project demonstrated the sensitivity of their detector and recorded results that challenge several dark matter models and a longstanding claim of dark matter detection. Papers detailing the results will be published in upcoming issues of the journals Science and Physical Review Letters.
Challenge to Classic Theory of 'Organic' Solar Cells Could Improve Efficiency
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - New research findings contradict a fundamental assumption about the functioning of "organic" solar cells made of low-cost plastics, suggesting a new strategy for creating inexpensive solar technology. Commercialization of organic solar cells has been hindered by inefficiencies, but the findings point toward a potential path to create a new class of solar technology able to compete with standard silicon cells.
Biology, Not Just Physics, Controls Release of Scent Compounds from Plants
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University research suggests active biological mechanisms transport scent and taste compounds known as volatiles from plant cells to the atmosphere, a finding that could overturn the textbook model of volatile emission as a process that occurs solely by diffusion.
Engineering a Better 'Do: Purdue Researchers Are Learning How
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Using heat to style curly hair poses a nagging problem: applying too much causes permanent damage resulting in limp fibers devoid of natural curve. Researchers are now working to learn precisely how much heat to apply and how frequently to use heat treatment for a given hair type without destroying it.
Twin Discoveries, 'Eerie' Effect May Lead to Manufacturing Advances
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The discovery of a previously unknown type of metal deformation - sinuous flow - and a method to suppress it could lead to more efficient machining and other manufacturing advances by reducing the force and energy required to process metals.
Advanced Composites May Borrow Designs from Deep-sea Shrimp
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - New research is revealing details about how the exoskeleton of a certain type of deep-sea shrimp allows the animal to survive scalding hot waters in hydrothermal vents thousands of feet under water.