Harvard scientists claim they’ve made Earth’s first metallic hydrogen

January 27, 2017 by  
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For 80 long years, scientists have attempted in vain to produce a metal from hydrogen . A super substance thought to be present on other planets , metallic hydrogen could generate a rocket propellant around four times more powerful than what we possess now, allowing us to make advanced technologies like super-fast computers. Now two scientists at Harvard University say they have achieved the near miraculous. But other scientists are skeptical – the sensational discovery may just be too good to be true. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qitm5fteL0 Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera of Harvard University say they’ve been able to create metallic hydrogen in the laboratory by squeezing hydrogen between diamonds inside a cryostat, at a pressure even greater than that at the Earth’s center. The journal Science published their astonishing findings this week. In a Harvard press release, Silvera said, “This is the Holy Grail of high-pressure physics . It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before.” Related: MIT’s new carbon-free supercapacitor could revolutionize the way we store power But other scientists aren’t so sure. A string of failed tries, from scientists around the world, precede the Harvard news. One physicist from France’s Atomic Energy Commission even said, “I don’t think the paper is convincing at all.” The Harvard scientists maintain they were able to polish the diamonds better, to remove any potentially damaging irregularities, and were able to crush the hydrogen gas at pressures greater than others have. Silvera said they produced a “lustry, reflective sample, which you can only believe is a metal .” But that shiny substance could be nothing more than alumina (aluminium oxide), according to geophysicist Alexander Goncharov from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. That material coats the diamonds’ tips, and could act differently under the pressure. Silvera said they wanted to break the news before starting confirmation tests, which could ruin their sample. Now that their paper is out, they plan to perform more experiments. Stay tuned. Via Scientific American and The Independent Images via screenshot and Isaac Silvera/Harvard University

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Harvard scientists claim they’ve made Earth’s first metallic hydrogen

Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

January 27, 2017 by  
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If money were no object, what would the ideal city of the future look like? Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) answered that question with a spectacular design for the Forest City, a proposed masterplan for a new city in Malaysia. This 20-square-kilometer green smart city would be built around a central rainforest and mimic the forest’s ecosystem by adopting a closed loop system that reuses all its resources and controls out-flow. Winner of the second place prize in an international design competition , the Forest City was created for a 24-hectare site and judged on its efficiency of land use, sensitivity to the environment, and inclusion of a landmark building that embodied the notion of a forest city. “Skylines across the world look the same—usually a couple of iconic towers in the center surrounded by lots of lesser quality buildings, which all resemble each other,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “Here we have designed an inverse city skyline where the icon of the city is a public space, not an object/building. Our central space is a Rainforest Valley and demonstrates the equation: PEOPLE = CITY. From an object to a place.” The proposed city for 700,000 people would be located on reclaimed land between Malaysia and Singapore and include office towers, residential areas, parks, hotels, shopping malls, and an international school. The city is organized around a central public space, the Rainforest Valley, which is surrounded by a waterfall and serves as a visual reminder of the city as a three-dimensional ecosystem. The valley extends like fingers in five directions to represent the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—as well as the five pillars of sustainability. Related: LAVA’s Addis Ababa Football Stadium Celebrates Ethiopia’s Ancient Heritage A group of buildings step down towards the green park and are heavily landscaped with roof gardens . A Landmark Tower will house the serviced apartments, hotels, retail and commercial space. As a pedestrian-friendly development, the design separates the circulation types by directing vehicular traffic underground and placing trains on a level above pedestrian walkways. Like a rainforest, the city will be designed as a mostly closed loop system with recycling processes hidden underground and outflow minimized. Local materials would be used in construction and energy generated from renewable sources. + Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

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Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

Timber ‘prosthesis’ gives Mexican tiny apartment more flexibility

January 27, 2017 by  
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Supportive scaffolding typically comes down after a construction project is complete, but MANADA Architectural Boundaries has used the wooden “prosthesis” to add flexibility to a tiny apartment in Mexico City. The wooden skeleton is interwoven throughout the interior, creating a second level loft space and extending out to the patio, where its serves as the frame for a vertical garden . The apartment, located in La Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, has a layout typical to the area, with double-height ceilings, a simple interior, and a strong connection to nature. Updating the space was essential, but not at the cost of losing its original character. Related: MVRDV’s massive staircase made of scaffolding opens in Rotterdam According to the architects, the concept behind “Essay 4 Spatial Prosthesis” was inspired by artificial prostheses that are designed to “correct a damaged organ’s function; second, to extend an organ’s inherent capability.” Using this as the inspiration for the apartment’s renovation, the architects choose the wooden skeleton structure to provide a second floor loft space. In addition to providing another level to the home, the wooden “prosthesis” is strategically integrated throughout the space, creating new sitting nooks and functional space where possible. Continuing out into the apartment’s open-air patio, the structure serves as a light and airy frame for a lovely vertical garden . + MANADA Architectural Boundaries Via Archdaily Photographs by Jaime Navarro

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Timber ‘prosthesis’ gives Mexican tiny apartment more flexibility

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