Video: Ceramics and glass make their mark on new global conservation vaults

By Lisa McDonald / June 15, 2022

The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, demonstrated that countries can work together for the common good through preservation and long-term protection of important societal resources. Two new global vaults making headlines will involve ceramic and glass materials, with the former material being documented and the latter used as a storage medium.

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Video: The science behind Queen Elizabeth II’s visual carriage display

By Lisa McDonald / June 8, 2022

When archival footage of a young Queen Elizabeth II waving to the crowd during her platinum jubilee celebrations appeared, news outlets almost universally called this visual display a “hologram.” However, based on the video evidence available, it was most likely a different type of illusion technique, a Gizmodo article contends.

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Video: The forgotten history of Franklin’s glass armonica

By Lisa McDonald / May 25, 2022

Few musical instruments are made out of glass. In the mid-1700s, American polymath Benjamin Franklin was inspired by glass harps to design a friction-based instrument called the glass armonica. Though popular at the time, glass armonicas are largely forgotten today.

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Video: Tile manufacturers face clay shortages due to war in Ukraine

By Lisa McDonald / May 18, 2022

Disruptions in the energy market are not the only market forces affecting the European ceramics industry. The war in Ukraine is also driving a shortage in supplies of Ukrainian clay.

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Video: ‘Glass Ships in Bottles’ exhibition explores the unusual history of UK scientific glassblowers

By Lisa McDonald / April 27, 2022

When heavy industry in the United Kingdom experienced a decline in the 1970s, scientific glassblowers began making and selling glass ships in bottles to stay afloat. An exhibition at the Scottish Maritime Museum looks at this unusual history and how it blossomed into a highly viable commercial enterprise.

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Video: ‘Superhero Materials’ exhibit reveals the everyday wonders of materials

By Lisa McDonald / April 20, 2022

While superheroes offer an engaging hook to interest students in materials science, real-world materials can be just as fascinating and superhero-like. A new exhibit at Tellus Science Museum in Georgia uses materials found in everyday life to inspire interest in materials science.

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Ceramics help keep time but usually at a hefty price

By Lisa McDonald / April 12, 2022

Ceramics are one material class that is quite popular in the design of luxury watches. View a brief history of watchmakers’ use of ceramics and learn about recent advancements in the development of new materials and processes.

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Video: ‘Dance Your Ph.D.’ contest offers creative approach to science communication

By Lisa McDonald / March 2, 2022

Visual and nonverbal communication methods are a great tool to help scientists make their science more accessible to a wider audience. The annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest run by AAAS and Science provides an opportunity for students to practice using these powerful tools.

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Video: James Webb Space Telescope’s 30-year journey to launch

By Lisa McDonald / January 12, 2022

In December 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope finally launched after decades of delays. Today’s CTT looks at JWST’s 30-year journey to launch and ways that NASA could restructure its approach to large-scale projects in the future.

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Industry survey lays out constraints to rare earth element supply diversification

By Lisa McDonald / January 11, 2022

Diversifying the supply chain is a main approach that the rare earth industry is taking to ensure adequate supply of rare earth elements, but there are challenges to diversification. A recent industry survey provides an excellent rundown of these challenges.

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