How spider silk research led to a new kind of microphone

The human ability to notice the world around us is made possible by our sense organs—eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue—which are so efficient that most people don't consciously think about them. Others, like Distinguished ...

Energy & Green Tech

Syngas photocatalysis made easy

A study published in the journal PNAS Nexus reports a photocatalyst to enable solar-driven syngas production from methane steam reforming—a possible bridge fuel to a post-carbon energy world.


Tackling the high-voltage needs of next-gen satellites

Scientists at the Swiss Plasma Center at EPFL, in collaboration with Beyond Gravity and with the support of the ESA, have developed a slip ring assembly that can more than triple the operational voltage of new-generation, ...

Energy & Green Tech

Reducing methane emissions at landfills

The second-largest driver of global warming is methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfills are a major source of methane, which is created when organic material decomposes underground.


Air-powered computer memory helps soft robot control movements

Engineers at UC Riverside have unveiled an air-powered computer memory that can be used to control soft robots. The innovation overcomes one of the biggest obstacles to advancing soft robotics: the fundamental mismatch between ...

Atmospheric pressure

Atmospheric pressure is sometimes defined as the force per unit area exerted against a surface by the weight of air above that surface at any given point in the Earth's atmosphere. In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point. Low pressure areas have less atmospheric mass above their location, whereas high pressure areas have more atmospheric mass above their location. Similarly, as elevation increases there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that pressure decreases with increasing elevation. A column of air one square inch in cross-section, measured from sea level to the top of the atmosphere, would weigh approximately 65.5 newtons (14.7 lbf). The weight of a 1 m2 (11 sq ft) column of air would be about 101 kN (10.3 tf).

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