Science & Technology

Penn Physicists Develop Force Law for Granular Impacts: Sand, Other Granular Matter's Behavior Is Better Defined

PHILADELPHIA -- Sand.  A single grain is tiny, but solid, and shares the physical properties of other solid matter.  But pack or transport millions of grains together - as modern society does with coffee grounds, flour and industrial chemicals - and granular materials act differently, baffling engineers.  They take the shape of their containers and flow freely, like liquids.

Jordan Reese

Penn's Weiss Tech House Announces Student Inventors Headed to PennVention Competition Finals

PHILADELPHIA -- Ten teams of student inventors have been selected to present their prototypes of innovative technologies at the University of Pennsylvania's third annual PennVention competition on April 6 at Penn's Weiss Tech House. Finalists will compete for more than $60,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to launch their products to market.

Jenny Brennan

Energy Working Group at Penn Hosts Mini-Symposium on Sustainable Energy

WHO: Energy Working Group at Penn, a multi-disciplinary group of University of Pennsylvania scientists and engineersGeorge Crabtree, senior scientist and director of the materials science division of the Argonne National Laboratory Joanne Milliken, director of the U.S. Energy Department hydrogen program

Jacquie Posey

MAGPI Hub at University of Pennsylvania Connects to New Internet2 Network

PHILADELPHIA -- The MAGPI advanced networking hub at the University of Pennsylvania has connected to the new Internet2 Network, providing the research and education community in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware with more than 10 times the capacity of its current network and with new on-demand bandwidth capabilities.

Julie McWilliams, Lauren Rotman

Penn Team Bridges the Digital Divide in Cameroon

Penn Team Bridges the Digital Divide in CameroonJan. 30, 2007PHILADELPHIA -- Some students in Cameroon now have computers thanks to a University of Pennsylvania engineering service organization.  A six member team of students, faculty and alumni of CommuniTech spent two and a half weeks during the winter break in Cameroon to establish computer labs.

Jeanne Leong

A Quarter-century of Community Partnerships

Glen Casey will be the first to admit it: He wasn’t the perfect student in high school. “I was always doing the dumbest things; getting into fights, getting arrested,” he says. A student then at University City High, Casey failed ninth grade, and barely passed 10th. “I just really wasn’t into school,” he says.



In the News


Daily Beast

Watch this noodle-shaped robot autonomously escape a maze 

Researchers at Penn and North Carolina State University have created a rotini-shaped robot that can tumble through a maze without any help or guidance from a computer or human being.

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NBC News

Triceratops tussle: ‘Big John’ skull shows signs of battle, scientists say

Julie Engiles of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on new research regarding triceratops anatomy, calling the team’s methodology “elegant and thorough.”

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Scientific American

Where rising seas threaten drinking water, scientists look for affordable solutions

Research led by Allison Lassiter of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design aims to identify water systems along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts that are vulnerable to saltwater intrusion. “Besides being unpleasant to drink, salinized water can harm vulnerable populations, including people with hypertension and pregnant women,” she said.

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The New York Times

Ty Haney is doing things differently this time

Kevin Werbach of the Wharton School said “web3,” a block-chain-centered iteration of the internet, won’t be as democratized or utopian as some believe. “There’s a web3 that’s out there which is wonderful and trying to make the world a better place, but just by labeling something web3, it doesn’t mean power dynamics will magically reverse,” Werbach said.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Got an idea to address the impacts of climate change along the Delaware? You could win money to make it happen

The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities’ Ecotopian Toolkit competition is soliciting proposals for tools to help the greater Philadelphia region address impacts of climate change. “One of the things that the project is really keen to develop is helping Philadelphians, and people really across the whole watershed, understand the ways that the water really connects to them and to their lives,” said Bethany Wiggin.

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Scientific American

Why some fluids flow slower when pushed harder

Paulo Arratia of the School of Engineering and Applied Science commented on a study that explored how fluids flow under different pressures. “Visualizing flow inside a 3-D porous media literally gives a window into something that was impossible to see,” he said. “If you could actually see the molecules stretching and recoiling, that would be wonderful [to] connect the molecular point of view to the microscopic.”

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Popular Science

Even dinosaurs couldn’t escape the sniffles

Ali Nabavizadeh of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on research that found evidence of respiratory infections in dinosaurs. “This paper provides yet another piece of evidence to show just how modern dinosaurs—the birds—are biologically so similar to their extinct non-avian dinosaurian relatives, even to the point of showing similar diseases,” he said.

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ABC News

Why the global chip shortage threatens the economy, national security and Americans’ ‘status quo’

Morris Cohen of the Wharton School spoke about the semiconductor shortage. "Most consumers didn't know and didn't care where their chips came from: 'You turn the car on, it should go, I don't really care who made the chip and what country it was built in,'" he said. "But now, all of a sudden, these issues become really important, and so I think we become more sensitized to how dependent we are, how interdependent we are, how things can be disrupted."

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BuzzFeed.com

Congress is trying to figure out what to do about crypto’s colossal carbon footprint

Zane Griffin Talley Cooper, a doctoral candidate in the Annenberg School for Communication, said “proof of work” algorithms used to mine and trade cryptocurrencies need to be “intensely regulated.”

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The Guardian

The inner lives of cats: what our feline friends really think about hugs, happiness and humans

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine said cats are capable of bonding with people, contrary to claims that they’re merely using their owners for food and shelter. “Humans hug and kiss. Dogs become very excited and jump around. Cats don’t do anything like that. They are much more elegant,” he said. “They approach us. They bump their heads. Then they have some contact with us and walk away.”

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