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Science and Technology

Students help to devise ‘home labs’ for remote fluids course

An introductory fluid mechanics class in the School of Engineering couldn’t be taught in-person this fall, but a group of undergraduates worked over the summer to make sure hands-on lab experiments remain part of the course.
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Novel coronavirus and its effect on University science laboratories has kept engineering student Portia Tieze from working on campus this summer — so she brought the lab to her apartment to continue her research.
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Cloud Agronomics — a student and alumni venture launched with support from the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship — uses hyperspectral imaging to detect crop-borne diseases that destabilize food supplies and cost farmers billions.
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Given higher sea levels and softer soil in the wake of a shifting climate, Sesarma crabs, which have already decimated salt marshes in the Northeast, are now rising to prominence in southeastern marshes, a new study finds.
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Science and Technology

Research reveals possibly active tectonic system on the Moon

Strange spots scattered across the Moon’s nearside where bedrock is conspicuously exposed are evidence of seismic activity set in motion 4.3 billion years ago that could be ongoing today, the researchers say.
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Researchers including computer science professor Anna Lysyanskaya are working on a way to use cell phones to track people who may have been exposed to coronavirus — without revealing any personal information.
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Science and Technology

Machine learning improves non-destructive materials testing

A new algorithm that vastly reduces the error rates involved in testing the mechanical properties of materials could be particularly useful on evaluating modern 3D printed materials.
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Science and Technology

Researchers report progress on molecular data storage system

A Brown University team has shown that they can store and retrieve more than 200 kilobytes of digital image files by encoding the data in mixtures of new custom libraries of small molecules.
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Taking a cue from birds and insects, Brown University researchers have come up with a new wing design for small drones that helps them fly more efficiently and makes them more robust to atmospheric turbulence.
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In a finding that could be useful in designing small aquatic robots, researchers have measured the forces that cause small objects to cluster together on the surface of a liquid — a phenomenon known as the “Cheerios effect.”
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Understanding why platinum is such a good catalyst for producing hydrogen from water could lead to new and cheaper catalysts — and could ultimately make more hydrogen available for fossil-free fuels and chemicals.
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Quantum mechanical calculations show that the melting point of metals decreases at extreme pressure, meaning even high-density metals can have a liquid phase that’s actually denser than its normal solid phase.
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Professors Kavita Ramanan and Dr. Jack Wands earned recognition for their distinguished contributions to science by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific body.
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Science and Technology

Scientists inch closer than ever to signal from cosmic dawn

Researchers using the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope have taken a new and significant step toward detecting a signal from the period in cosmic history when the first stars lit up the universe.
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Science and Technology

Research reveals new state of matter: a Cooper pair metal

In a finding that reveals an entirely new state of matter, research published in the journal Science shows that Cooper pairs, electron duos that enable superconductivity, can also conduct electricity like normal metals do.
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Stephon Alexander, Brown professor and president-elect of the National Society for Black Physicists, discusses the organization’s annual conference, which comes to Providence for the first time this year.
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