Stanford University researchers are proposing to use opal to sequester uranium at contaminated sites. The idea springs from natural deposits of opal, containing uranium, that have been stable for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
Carbon nanotubes could make many electronic devices cheaper and more efficient. But when nanotubes are manufactured, tubes that work for solar cells are mixed with tubes that work for batteries. The final product is a nanotube powder that is not ideal for any single commercial application. However, Stanford University researchers have discovered a technique to selectively sort semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes from the mixture.
John McCarthy, a pioneer in artificial intelligence technology and creator of the computer programming language often used in that field, died this week at age 84. He was a leader in the field, coining the term in a 1955 research proposal and going on to create influential laboratories at both Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Using carbon nanotubes bent to act as springs, Stanford University researchers have developed a stretchable, transparent skin-like sensor. The sensor can be stretched to more than twice its original length and bounce back perfectly to its original shape. It can sense pressure from a firm pinch to thousands of pounds.
Cities release more heat to the atmosphere than the rural vegetated areas around them, but how much influence these urban "heat islands" have on global warming has been a matter of debate. Now a study by Stanford University researchers has quantified the contribution of the heat islands for the first time, showing that it is modest compared with what greenhouse gases contribute to global warming.
A new form of carbon that rivals diamonds in its hardness, but has an amorphous structure similar to glass, has been produced under ultrahigh pressure in laboratory experiments. The research team was led by Stanford University mineral physicist Wendy Mao and graduate student Yu Lin.
Carbon is the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe and takes on a wide variety of forms, called allotropes, including diamond and graphite. Scientists at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory are part of a team that has discovered a new form of carbon, which is capable of withstanding extreme pressure stresses that were previously observed only in diamond.
Stanford researchers have used nanotechnology to invent a better lithium ion battery cathode. The researchers have used sulfur-coated hollow carbon nanofibers and an electrolyte additive to fabricate a superior rechargeable lithium battery cathode. Putting silicon nanowire anodes and sulfur-coated carbon cathodes into one battery could be the next generation in battery design.
By harnessing plasmonics to intensify light, engineers at Stanford University have created an ultra-compact nonlinear light source that shrinks a large-scale, high-energy device to the nanoscale.
Stanford University Earth scientists lend geophysical support to a theory of life's origins—but show that, if it's accurate, the first organisms could only have arisen during one brief stretch of geological time, long ago.
A readily portable miniature microscope weighing less than 2 g and tiny enough to balance on your fingertip has been developed by Stanford University researchers. The scope is designed to see fluorescent markers, such as dyes, commonly used by medical and biological researchers studying the brains of mice.
The strength of a chemical bond between atoms is the fundamental basis for a molecule's stability and reactivity. Tuning the strength and accessibility of the bond can dramatically change a molecule's properties. New research by a team from two European universities and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory shows that attractive forces between other parts of a molecule can make a stretched bond joining two carbon atoms much more stable than expected.
Flies like watching computer screens as much as the next animal. Set them on a trackball in front of a monitor, and they'll follow the action—if the images in front of them move in one direction, the flies will try to move the same way. That's because flies—like humans—can perceive what researchers call "phi motion."
By finding a clever way to use the Earth itself as a scientific instrument, members of a SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory-led research team turned the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope into a positron detector and confirmed a startling discovery from 2009 that found an excess of these antimatter particles in cosmic rays, a possible sign of dark matter.
Stanford University researchers have gotten a glimpse into an uncertain future where increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere will lead to higher levels in the ocean as well, leaving the water more acidic and altering underwater ecosystems.
More and more natural gas is being extracted from underground shale deposits, but environmental concerns have been raised. Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback, who recently served on a Department of Energy panel of experts, says it can be done safely.
A team at the Stanford University School of Medicine has cataloged, down to the letter, exactly what parts of the genetic code are essential for survival in one bacterial species, Caulobacter crescentus .
Sunspots spawn solar flares that can cause billions of dollars in damage to satellites, communications networks, and power grids. But Stanford University researchers have developed a way to detect incipient sunspots as deep as 65,000 km inside the sun, providing up to two days' advance warning of a damaging solar flare.
Could it be love? Rats infected with the parasite Toxoplasma seem to lose their fear of cats—or at least cat urine. Now Stanford researchers have discovered that the brains of those infected, fearless male rats show activity in the region that normally triggers a mating response when they meet a female rat.
Stanford University researchers have invented a transparent lithium-ion battery that is also highly flexible. It is comparable in cost to regular batteries on the market today, with great potential for applications in consumer electronics.
A handful of muck or a bucket of water can teem with millions of microorganisms—a few of which could be the next big thing when it comes to learning how to create biofuels or understanding the planet's carbon cycle. Exploring the microbial world is getting easier thanks to one of the world's largest databases of genetic "fingerprints" maintained by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists.
In a typical year, California gets about 30% of its water from groundwater wells. Yet when it comes to managing this precious resource, the state relies on a mixed bag of more than 2,000 local water agencies with varying degrees of authority. Critics say that this decentralized system leaves the state vulnerable to overdraft. But according to a new report published by Stanford University's Program on Water in the West, a surprising number of local water districts are taking on the challenge of groundwater protection.
Existing underwater microphones, called hydrophones, have a limited range of sensitivity and does not perform well at depth. Taking a cue from champion ocean listeners like the orca, Stanford researchers invented a new microphone that is at home in any depth, and can detect anything from a whisper to an explosion of TNT.
The process of splitting water into pure oxygen and clean-burning hydrogen fuel has long been the Holy Grail for clean-energy advocates as a method of large-scale energy storage, but the idea faces technical challenges. Stanford researchers may have solved one of the most important ones.
Glass, by definition, is amorphous; its atoms lack order and are arranged every which way. But when scientists squeezed tiny samples of a metallic glass under high pressure, they got a surprise: The atoms lined up in a regular pattern to form a single crystal.