engineering

How would engineers build the Golden Gate Bridge today?

How would engineers build the Golden Gate Bridge today?

When the Golden Gate Bridge went up, it was the longest suspended bridge span in the world – cables hold up the roadway between two towers, with no intermediate supports. And the setting had a number of inherent challenges. It cost about US$37 million at the time; building the same structure today would cost about a billion dollars. So how has the design held up over the past 80 years – and would we do things differently if we were starting from scratch today?

Australia’s back in the satellite business with a new launch

Australia’s back in the satellite business with a new launch

The first Australian-built satellites to be launched in 15 years are set to take off this week from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Unlike the enormous satellites Australia uses for telecommunications, each of these new satellites is the size of a loaf of bread. But although small, they may provide a key step in enabling Australia’s entry into the global satellite market.

Uber brings in NASA engineer to build flying cars

Uber brings in NASA engineer to build flying cars

Flying cars have become something of a hot ticket item of late. In the past few years, companies like Terrafugia, Aeromobil and Moller International have all grabbed headlines with their particular designs. And soon enough, international transportation giant Uber could be joining the ranks of those looking to turn a popular staple of science fiction into science fact.

Beyond invisibility: engineering light with metamaterials

Beyond invisibility: engineering light with metamaterials

Since ancient times, people have experimented with light, cherishing shiny metals like gold and cutting gemstones to brighten their sparkles. Today we are far more advanced in how we work with this ubiquitous energy.

Starting with 19th-century experimentation, we began to explore controlling how light interacts with matter.

Down the Rabbit Hole: How Electrons Travel Through Exotic New Material

Down the Rabbit Hole: How Electrons Travel Through Exotic New Material

Researchers at Princeton University have observed a bizarre behavior in a strange new crystal that could hold the key for future electronic technologies. Unlike most materials in which electrons travel on the surface, in these new materials the electrons sink into the depths of the crystal through special conductive channels.

A new way to store solar heat - Material could harvest sunlight by day, release heat on demand hours or days later.

A new way to store solar heat - Material could harvest sunlight by day, release heat on demand hours or days later.

Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. Or, picture a car windshield that stores the sun’s energy and then releases it as a burst of heat to melt away a layer of ice.  ccording to a team of researchers at MIT, both scenarios may be possible before long.