Volunteers wearing the rubber soled shoes walk up and down an ice-covered inclined floor in the Challenging Environment Assessment Lab. (Reza Rizvi, Yue Li, and Sharon Ravindran/ Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) Health Physics Technology 

Winter Hack: New Rubber Grips Icy Surfaces

Winter storms dumped record amounts of snow on the East Coast and other regions of the United States this year, forcing many people to navigate icy sidewalks and roads. However, treacherous travel by foot may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a team of researchers from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto, Canada, who are working on a new rubber sole to help pedestrians get a better grip on slippery surfaces. The material is made up of glass fibers embedded in rubber, and it…

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Brain-like computer: Artwork courtesy of CoolDesign via freedigitalphotos.net Engineering Physics Technology 

Brain-like Computers from Optical Fibers

Computers that function like a human brain could soon become a reality thanks to new research using optical fibers made of speciality glass. This research has the potential to allow a faster and smarter brain-like computer that can learn and adapt. Researchers from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, UK, and Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies (CDPT) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, have demonstrated how neural networks and synapses in the brain can be reproduced with optical pulses as information carriers, using special fibers…

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Latte foam: Photo by Piyato via freedigitalphotos.net Engineering Physics 

Science of Sloshing: Why Foam is Important

By Kate Stone Most of us know that carrying a full cup of hot coffee can be precarious and just one wrong move could send a wave of java sloshing over the rim. But have you ever noticed that adding a bit of foam to the top of the coffee makes moving with it easier? Scientists have found out why just a few layers of bubbles can significantly dampen the sloshing motion of liquid. However, investigating the effects of foam on fluid dynamics is about more than avoiding coffee spillage.…

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