Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 30th Sep 2007

Smart Materials

Plastic Logic Display (c) Plastic Logic

This week, we're exploring the science of Smart Materials - we discover a Super-Non-Stick coating that even honey wont stick to and flexible plastic paper with E-Ink that we-writes itself on demand. We learn how potatoes could form the basis of future plastics and a new way to think about 'bone china', as ceramics and polymers could replace your broken bones.  Also, we discover where sea turtles spend their childhood, how a microRNA gene switch could put the brakes on the spread of cancer and how thousands of cases of breast cancer could be avoided without medication.  Plus, in Kitchen Science, we show you how a simple cotton handkerchief can hold back a torrent of water!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

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  • 20:32 - Super Non Stick Surfaces

    Non-stick pans are great, they make it so much easier to clean cooked on scrambled egg! But the Thin Films and Interfaces group at Cambridge University have found a way to make a super non stick surface, just by changing the surface structure of ordinary Teflon. Ullrich Steine...

  • 28:16 - Plastic Logic - Plastic Paper and E-Ink

    Now, if you listen carefully you will notice that we, in the Naked Scientists are surrounded by paper. We usually try not to make you hear but similarly in offices all around the country incredible amounts of paper are thrown away on a daily basis. Id just like to point out tha...

  • 34:08 - Biocomposites - the Future for Plastics?

    Biocomposites, materials similar to plastics but made from biological material, could be the ideal replacement for petrochemical based plastics. Paul Fowler explained more to Chris...

  • 39:25 - Medical Materials

    Dr Ruth Cameron and Dr Serena Best from the Centre for Medical material at the University of Cambridge spoke to Chris about how they are using ceramics and polymers to help mend broken bones.

 

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Also, what is the difference between a rainproof and a stormproof coat? Is it the size of the "hole's" in the material, which i suppose is a kind of mesh? paul.fr, Mon, 8th Oct 2007

I think it is because soap reduces the surface tension, but doesn't actually kill it (soap bubbles are still pulled into spheres), and the holes are so small and the difference in pressures are still quite small so you would have to reduce it further. daveshorts, Mon, 8th Oct 2007

Dave, Ben. I did the experiment, and got the correct result. I then repeated it, but this time i added soap to the water in the glass. I got the same result! Why did the reduced surface tension not result in the water flowing more freely through the hankerchief? paul.fr, Thu, 5th Nov 2009

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