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June 2019

Making Wood the ‘Cool’ New Building Material

By Bailey Bedford , Inside Science

Researchers have modified wood not only to make it stronger but to make it capable of cool itselfing, which may lead to energy savings.   Futuristic, energy-efficient houses may soon be made of -- wood. This staple of construction has received a makeover that gives it desirable properties such as increased strength and the ability to shed heat. Researchers developed a process to convert wood into what they call “cooling wood.” They presented the details of this promising building material that could decrease the need for air conditioning in an article  published today  in the journal Science. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: University of Maryland
Researchers Mimic Biology to Make a Better, 'Buggy' Microphone

 By Bailey Bedford, Inside Science

Insect hearing systems are inspiring new microphone designs that can better identify the direction a sound comes from. Secret agents who snoop around and hide bugs that listen to the conversations of others are a staple of spy and suspense movies. Inspired by the hearing of actual insects, researchers may be able to design new kinds of bugs and other microphones .   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Daren Zomerman

Refrigeration Research Seeks to Ditch Toxic, Polluting Gases

By Brian Owens , Inside Science

So-called plastic crystals could open new avenues in the quest to make refrigerators with only solid components. Refrigeration has been around for about 100 years, but hasn’t changed much in that time. A time traveller from the early 1900s would still recognize the big box full of chilled food in your kitchen. But soon, researchers say, new materials could replace refrigeration as we know it, making it more adaptable, efficient and environmentally friendly. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Imfoto/Shutterstock

Could Fundamental Constants Be Neither Fundamental nor Constant?

 By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

A new paper proposes two experiments to test if the steadiest components in physics are really kind of shifty after all. Is it possible for light to travel faster or slower in the distant corners of our universe? The speed of light, like dozens of other so-called fundamental constants, is essential to how physicists understand the cosmos. These numbers even help define our units of measure, such as the meter, the second and,  as of May 20, the kilogram . However, there is no scientific consensus as for why the constants must be constant, or fundamental. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Rights information : Public domain

Physics Can Help Develop New Foods -- Like Crispy Jellyfish Chips

By Bailey Bedford, Inside Science

Researchers find a new method for making jellyfish into an edible product with an enticing, crisp texture. Crisp, salty, snack. These might not be the first three words that come to mind after someone says "jellyfish." But physicists have devised a preparation method that transforms gelatinous jellyfish into crisp chips -- and it may help make jellyfish a more common food.   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Mie Thorborg Pedersen
Rights information : This image may only be reproduced with this Inside Science article.

How Much Does Precipitation Increase the Risk of Car Crashes?

 By Bailey Bedford, Inside Science

Researchers used radar to provide new insight into how precipitation raises the chances of deadly car crashes . Driving in a downpour carries obvious risks, but a new study highlights how even light precipitation can increase the dangers of driving. The   results , published online last month in the journal Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, found that during precipitation there is an increase of about 34% of the overall risk of a fatal car crash occurring. The researchers also found that the risk is worse during winter and the morning rush hour. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Dejan Krsmanovic  via Flickr
Rights information : CC BY 2.0

Jupiter’s Magnetic Field is Changing

By Yuen Yiu , Inside Science

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has detected changes in Jupiter’s magnetic field, making it the first planet known to share this feature with Earth.  For the first time in history, humans have detected a changing magnetic field on a planet other than our own -- Jupiter. The latest revelation could help scientists better understand how a planet’s magnetic field changes over time. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Making A Splash

By Karin Heineman, Executive Producer

High-speed video shows how far one drop of water really goes. A single drop of water, a few millimeters wide, probably goes unnoticed by most people. But when that tiny drop lands on a surface, a leaf, a blade of grass, or even your head, it doesn’t stop there. That one drop then produces more drops and more drops, and so on. Scientists say this spray can contribute to the spread of infectious disease on almost everything from humans to plants to ponds and lakes. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Gold Nanoparticles in Contact Lenses Could Protect Your Eyes

By Bailey Bedford , Inside Science

Researchers have embedded gold particles in soft films that dissipate light energy at the surface of the eye and could have future medical uses.  Researchers have made a new incognito technology in the form of a “golden eye” that seems like something James Bond would use. The researchers developed contact lenses that use tiny amounts of gold to help protect eyes from damaging light. They hope future versions will deliver medicine or detect diseases. These new contact lenses absorb light and dissipate the energy using tiny, gold-based nanocapsules. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Rights information : Public domain

The Scent Of A Flower

 By Emilie Lorditch , Inside Science

Is pollution killing a flower’s scent? Would a fresh bouquet of flowers lose its appeal if it didn’t smell? Or what if you could no longer buy your favorite perfume? Find out why scientists are studying how pollution is interfering with flowers’ scents. READ FULL ARTICLE.

This Giant Ocean Whirlpool is Bigger than Colorado

By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

The so-called Great Whirl off the coast of Somalia is larger and lasts longer than scientists thought. A giant whirlpool off the east coast of Africa is even bigger than previously thought, on average larger than the state of Colorado, satellite data now reveals. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : NASA Scientific Visualization Studio
Striving to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of our students.

One of the SVC’s long-term goals has always been to support charitable, educational, and scientific activities. As its first initiative, the Foundation created a scholarship program aimed at supporting enterprising students and practitioners who have an interest in furthering their education in the field of vacuum coating technology. 
The Foundation also grants travel awards to students to attend and present technical papers at the annual SVC Technical Symposium. Since its inception, both programs have awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to students from the United States, Canada, China, Lithuania and Spain.
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