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Stretching Science: 5 Whiz Kids, A New Use For Gold & Improved Wearable Electronics
(editor's note: We all know that children are our future- today I bring you a story of five amazing young inventors, four from history and one emerging genius. In two related stories, we'll explore the potential for gold to assist in the applications of memory and energy storage and the emerging field of plasmonics. Using graphene, scientists have invented a lightweight and flexible material that can conduct electricity. Wearable electronic devices just got a big leap forward!
In my daily treks through the news files of the world I'm amazed at the depth and scope of emerging science technologies! In the bigger picture of our changing world, we understand that these are stepping stones towards joining our Galactic community of scientists.
~All my Love, Boo)
Here are the stories of four young inventors who have already made their mark on the world, and one who hopes to in the years to come.
15-year old Chester Greenwood who invented earmuffs back in 1874.
Louis Braille, blind since the age of three, developed the Braille reading system when he was only 15.
Philo Farnsworth, age 14, came up with the idea to project a recorded image by scanning electrons back-and-forth across a glass screen (the television).
12-year old Margaret “Mattie” Knight is known as the "female Edison" because of her over 90 inventions that made life in the Industrial Age safer.
Today, 15-year old Param Jaggi from Texas has developed a small device that plugs into a muffler and can remove about 89% of the carbon dioxide from a car’s exhaust. The secret: a live colony of algae that takes in the CO2 from the exhaust, uses it for photosynthesis, and then releases oxygen back into the air.
Golden Potential for Gold Thin Films
Scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have directed the first self-assembly of nanoparticles into device-ready materials. (Using) highly ordered one-, two- and three-dimensional arrays of gold nanoparticles. Thin films such as these have potential applications for a wide range of fields, including computer memory storage, energy harvesting, energy storage, remote-sensing, catalysis, light management and the emerging new field of plasmonics.
Nanoparticles can be thought of as artificial atoms with unique optical, electrical and mechanical properties. If nanoparticles can be coaxed into routinely assembling themselves into complex structures and hierarchical patterns, similar to what nature does with proteins, devices a thousand times smaller than those of today's microtechnologies could be mass-produced.
Wearable electronics:Transparent, Lightweight, Flexible Conductor Could Revolutionize Electronics Industry
The most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity has been invented by a team from the University of Exeter. Called GraphExeter, the material could revolutionize the creation of wearable electronic devices, such as clothing containing computers, phones and MP3 players.
Adapted from graphene, GraphExeter is much more flexible than indium tin oxide (ITO), the main conductive material currently used in electronics. ITO is becoming increasingly expensive and is a finite resource, expected to run out in 2017.