Tag: physics

Is gallium nitride the silicon of the future?

Is gallium nitride the silicon of the future?

The global electronics industry has been fueled by silicon from the get-go, but that may soon change. Products are slowly appearing that replace silicon with gallium nitride, a material that promises to shrink technology down while making it more efficient. We take a look inside one of these products to find out how gallium nitride…

Tiny meteorites are everywhere. Here’s how to find them.

Tiny meteorites are everywhere. Here’s how to find them.

Literal tons of tiny meteorites fall to Earth every day, but are next to impossible to find once they land. At least, that’s what the scientific community assumed. In this pilot episode of our “Trial & Error” experiment series, we go on a hunt for micrometeorites with the help of the amateur scientist who showed…

Your future gadgets might rely on metals from the seafloor

Your future gadgets might rely on metals from the seafloor

As the demand grows for the metals that power electronics, we may have to look farther and farther for mining opportunities. The next big mining frontier is the deep sea: along the seafloor, mysterious vents shoot scalding hot fluid into the ocean. These vents are a haven for miraculous and unique sea life, but they’re…

Your future tech may rely on deep-sea mining

Your future tech may rely on deep-sea mining

As the demand grows for the metals that power electronics, we may have to look farther and farther for mining opportunities. The next big mining frontier is the deep sea: along the seafloor, mysterious vents shoot scalding hot fluid into the ocean. These vents are a haven for miraculous and unique sea life, but they’re…

How deaf researchers are reinventing science communication

How deaf researchers are reinventing science communication

Science is a language unto itself, and scientists rely on precise, standard terminology for common ground in their work. But for deaf researchers and students, American Sign Language isn’t “up to date” with terms for new concepts and ideas. The solution? Create new signs from scratch. We follow a deaf grad student who explains how…

Supersonic air travel is finally coming back

Supersonic air travel is finally coming back

Supersonic air travel is back. 15 years after the Concorde was grounded, everyone from aerospace companies to NASA to small startups is working to bring back ultrafast civilian aircraft. We take a look at the engineering challenges that make supersonic flight so difficult, and try to figure out what’s different about this new generation of…

We decoded NASA’s messages to aliens by hand

We decoded NASA’s messages to aliens by hand

In 1977, twin golden records were sent into space on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. Still sailing through space at nearly 60,000 km per hour, the records contain sound, songs, and images from earth. But how did NASA include images on an analog record? Here, we decoded the audio, and see the images the…