Tate Williams

Browsing the "Materials" Tag


The ‘Fishing Expedition’ for Weird, World-Changing Materials

Originally published at Inside Philanthropy, August 19, 2014. “Weird” is my own, non-technical descriptor for new quantum materials, which the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is hoping 12 researchers can cook up over the next five years. While the grantees [...]

September 3, 2014 Science & Environment

The Week in Science Funding: Maple Syrup, Data-Fueled Biology, and Frack U.

A digest of science and environment news, originally published on Inside Philanthropy. This week, both data-fueled biology and materials science get a boost, and one North Dakota university is making fast friends with the fracking industry. I blog about the latest in funding [...]

July 14, 2014 Uncategorized
Rattan Palm (Calamus rotang) trunk, Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

Blue Ant > Rattan bone grafts, or cyborg sheep with wooden legs

For all of technology’s efforts to improve upon nature, sometimes the most challenging feat is simply matching it, or even coming close. Take, for example, the endlessly versatile muscle, or the light and load-bearing bone. Imitating the latter poses a [...]

November 6, 2013 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing

Blue Ant > Tungsten and Rhenium Darts

Rhenium is the last stable element to be discovered, found in 1925, before all of the nuke-y ones. It’s extremely rare, and one of the densest of elements. It’s used in alloy form, primarily in high-tech purposes like combustion chambers, [...]

July 5, 2013 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing