An Amazing New Alloy
When my lovely wife Margo makes her sterling-silver chain-maille jewellery, she has to make each little ring that goes into a chain. One of the problems with bending metal, though, is that if it's bent too many times, it becomes brittle. That's called work-hardening. It's a change in the metal's crystal structure that results from all that bending, and it makes the metal brittle, rather than pliable. The problem is one you've probably come across yourself, albeit perhaps not with sterling silver, and the solution is a heat-cycling technique called annealing. But what if you could bend it ten million times before it got brittle? In this article, you can read about the new memory alloy that's set to enable some amazing new products. Even though it's unlikely to change the world of chain-maille jewellery, it could be a game-changer for pacemakers and other more mechanically demanding products.
Compromise for the Thirty Meter Telescope
Go-ahead for protest-hit Thirty Meter Telescope, but with fewer future sites on Mauna Kea
Science in conflict with culture.
Happily, a compromise has been reached, and construction can go ahead, but with fewer sites, and with the release of associated land, and the decommissioning of other facilities.
This may not be seen as ideal, but it's a compromise in which both sides have given ground and gained ground. Let's hope that despite being far from ideal, it is at least acceptable to all concerned.