Matter and Its Interactions

  1. Materials Science

    Engineers borrow a tree’s cellulose to toughen new materials

    Cellulose gives plants their strength. Engineers are turning this renewable, environmentally friendly resource into brand new materials.

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  2. Physics

    A new device uses atoms’ quantum weirdness to peer underground

    Quantum sensors like this one could monitor magma beneath volcanoes or uncover archaeological artifacts.

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  3. Materials Science

    A disinfectant made from sawdust knocks out deadly microbes

    It’s made by pressure-cooking sawdust and water, is cheap and easy to make — and could lead to greener cleaning products than chemicals used today.

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  4. Humans

    The earliest known pants are surprisingly modern — and comfy

    This 3,000-year-old garment was not only stylish but also functional. By recreating it, scientists also unraveled its complex and multicultural origins.

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  5. Life

    Scientists Say: Cellulose

    Cellulose is an abundant natural polymer found in plants and algae. It’s used to make everything from paper to clothing.

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  6. Chemistry

    New process can transform urban CO2 pollution into a resource

    Researchers have developed a liquid metal that breaks down carbon dioxide in the air, converting it from a climate threat into a valuable raw material.

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  7. Physics

    Explainer: How do mass and weight differ?

    Learn why these terms aren’t the same and which to use where. And should you report your results in kilograms? Pounds? If in doubt, try using newtons.

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  8. Physics

    Why some icicles become scallops not spikes

    The newfound — and at times quirky — shapes reflect the density of water surrounding submerged ice.

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  9. Environment

    Widely used pesticides may threaten Earth’s ozone layer

    Data show a major class of long-used “eco-friendly” copper chemicals unexpectedly react with soil, making gases harmful to Earth’s protective ozone layer.

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  10. Environment

    Scientists Say: Pollution

    Pollution is any substance or form of energy released into the environment that is harmful to people or other living creatures.

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  11. Environment

    Clothes dryers may be a major source of airborne microplastics

    Scientists thought washing machines were a leading contributor of microplastics. Now it appears dryers may be an even bigger problem.

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  12. Planets

    No, organic molecules alone don’t point to life on Mars

    These carbon-based molecules, found in a meteorite, may reflect merely a mixing of water and minerals on the Red Planet over billions of years.

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