Mirage maker

30 Oct 2015

Aditya Sadhanala wanders over to the wall, turns a pulley, and a wooden box about a metre squared swings up and away. Below it gleams an array of carefully positioned lasers, deflectors and sensors surrounding a piece of glass no bigger than a contact lens. He flips a switch and creates a ‘mirage’.

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Detail of Kingfisher, woodblock printed in colour, Kitagawa Utamaro

K is for Kingfisher

12 Aug 2015

The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, K is for Kingfisher. Look out for them among the swamp cypresses at the Botanic Garden, where the secrets behind their cyan and blue feathers are being studied by an extraordinary collaboration of scientists.

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A jet engine turbine blade.

From atoms to jet engines – extreme materials on display at summer exhibition

30 Jun 2015

At any one time over half a million people are flying far above our heads in modern aircraft. Their lives depend on the performance of the special metals used inside jet engines, where temperatures can reach over 2000˚C. Cambridge researchers will be exhibiting these remarkable materials at this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

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Health-conscious concrete

23 Mar 2015

Roads that self-repair, bridges filled with first-aid bubbles, buildings with arteries… not some futuristic fantasy but a very real possibility with ‘smart’ concrete.

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Illuminating art’s history

19 Feb 2015

Scientific imaging techniques are uncovering secrets locked in medieval illuminated manuscripts – including those of a thrifty duke.

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Cyphochilus beetle

The beetle’s white album

15 Aug 2014

The physical properties of the ultra-white scales on certain species of beetle could be used to make whiter paper, plastics and paints, while using far less material than is used in current manufacturing methods.

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Seeds to skyscrapers

24 Jun 2014

Wood is one of the oldest building materials but its use is limited by its properties. With new funding, researchers aim to stretch these properties to an unprecedented degree, creating the means to build a skyscraper out of plants.

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