Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Toads
Tree Frogs
Animals
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
Not Slippery When Wet
Monkey Math
Behavior
Memory by Hypnosis
The Colorful World of Synesthesia
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Birds
Finches
Seagulls
Swans
Chemistry and Materials
Picture the Smell
The Buzz about Caffeine
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Computers
A Light Delay
Supersonic Splash
Middle school science adventures
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Spider's Web
Feathered Fossils
Fingerprinting Fossils
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Riding to Earth's Core
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Deep History
Environment
Out in the Cold
Seabirds Deliver Arctic Pollutants
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
Finding the Past
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Settling the Americas
Fish
Megamouth Sharks
Freshwater Fish
Tiger Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
Sponges' secret weapon
A Taste for Cheese
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
Pronouns
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Prime Time for Cicadas
Math of the World
Detecting True Art
Human Body
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Workouts: Does Stretching Help?
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Invertebrates
Sea Urchin
Starfish
Leeches
Mammals
African Zebra
Primates
Great Danes
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Children and Media
Physics
Project Music
Gaining a Swift Lift
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Plants
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Caimans
Snapping Turtles
Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
Melting Snow on Mars
The two faces of Mars
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Weaving with Light
Dancing with Robots
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Middle school science adventures
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Earth's Poles in Peril
Add your Article

The memory of a material

Nafion is a useful material that has been around since the 1960s, but don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it. It was first made by a chemist at DuPont, a company that makes chemicals, and it is a common ingredient in fuel cells. (Fuel cells, which are sometimes used to power satellites, produce energy from hydrogen.) Now, a scientist in Michigan has shown that Nafion has another nifty purpose: It can “remember” three different shapes. If you were to twist some Nafion into, say, a donut shape, it would be able to form into a donut again later.Don’t go quizzing your nearest Nafion just yet. Its memory isn’t of the usual kind: Nafion’s memory is based on temperature. Nafion is a synthetic polymer, which means it’s a manmade material of thousands of molecules linked together like a chain. Polymers come in many shapes and sizes — in fact, Silly Putty is a familiar polymer.The scientist behind this Nafion experiment is Tao Xie, who works at General Motors’s Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory in Warren, Mich. In order to understand what Xie did, it might be easy to think of Nafion as a kind of high-tech Silly Putty. First, Xie heated a strip of the material up to 140° Celsius (284° Fahrenheit). Next, he let the Nafion cool for a bit, and then twisted it into a shape. Then, he did it again: He let the Nafion cool, and then made a shape. All in all, he made three different shapes out of the polymer as it cooled down. Then came the fun part: As he heated the Nafion back up, it changed shape on its own — again and again, as the temperature rose. And by the time it got all the way back to the highest temperature, the Nafion had changed into all three of the shapes Xie had put it in. And the material took each shape at a certain temperature, the same temperature it had the first time, when Xie had given it each shape. “We’ve shown with this material that more shapes are possible,” Xie says. Nafion is an example of a smart material. Smart materials are special because they have properties (such as shape) that change in response to changes in temperature, pressure or other external factors. (Smart materials called piezoelectrics, for example, generate a bit of electricity when pressure is applied — as a result, they’re often used in electric starters, such as those in outdoor grills.) Nafion isn’t the first material that can remember its shape, but Xie’s study is the first time this shape memory has been observed in a polymer that already exists and is used for other purposes. Usually, “materials have been tailor-made for these uses,” Andreas Lendlein told Science News. Lendlein is the director of the polymer research institute at the GKSS Research Center in Teltow, Germany. Xie says he hopes his work inspires other scientists to find new uses for Nafion.

The memory of a material
The memory of a material








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™