Plato was right. Earth is made, on average, of cubes
The ancient Greek philosopher was on to something, the School of Arts & Sciences’ Douglas Jerolmack and colleagues found.
Novel ways to store data in light waves
A pair of studies from Penn Engineering provides new ways to increase information density in optical communications, paving the way for a massive increase in the bandwidth of fiber optic networks.
Understanding the ‘fundamental nature’ of atomic-scale defects
New research provides a deeper mathematical understanding of the dynamics of a material’s atomic-level defects, which could enable new ways to imbue substances with unique and desirable properties.
‘Nanocardboard’ flyers could serve as Martian atmospheric probes
As NASA plans to launch its next Mars rover, Perseverance, this summer, Penn Engineers are now testing their ‘nanocardboard flyers’ ability to lift payloads.
DIY origami face masks for COVID-19
The professor of materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering is leading an effort to design an effective face mask that can be made at home.
Drops of liquid crystal molecules branch out into strange structures
Shaped by surface tension and elasticity, spherical drops of chain-like liquid crystal molecules transform upon cooling into complex shapes with long-reaching tendrils.
Self-healing liquid brings new life to battery alternative
In Penn engineers’ new anode design, gallium repeatedly melts and solidifies, “healing” the cracks that would otherwise gradually decrease the battery’s ability to hold a charge.
Engineers solve the paradox of why tissue gets stiffer when compressed
Tissue gets stiffer when it’s compressed. That stiffening response is a long-standing biomedical paradox, as common sense dictates that when you push the ends of a string together, it loosens tension, rather than increasing it. New research explains the mechanical interplay between that fiber network and the cells it contains.
New topological insulator can reroute photonic ‘traffic’ on the fly
Penn researchers, who first discovered topological insulators in 2005, have shown, for the first time, a way for a topological insulator to make use of its entire footprint without wasted space throughout the material’s interior.
A ‘quantum leap’ for quantum information science
By bringing together experts across campus and across disciplines, Penn is poised to lead ongoing efforts towards developing quantum applications using atomically-thin materials.