Nitinol: The Shape Memory Effect and Superelasticity Explained [Science Video]

This this video, Bill “The Engineer Guy” demonstrates the temperature-dependent shape memory of nitinol metal. He explains how “twinning” in the crystal structure of nitinol produces the memory effect. He shows a nitinol-based engine that is powered by temperature differences. He closes the video with a description of superelasticity, a phenomenon related to the memory […]

Apollo 11’s Journey to the Moon, Annotated

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on a journey to pull off humankind’s first moon landing. The eight-day journey was made possible by the careful deconstruction of the Saturn V rocket and Apollo spacecraft, and made use of a technique of docking components of the spacecraft […]

How a Dragonfly’s Brain is Designed to Kill [Science Video]

Dragonflies can catch prey with near perfect accuracy, the best among all predators. But how does something with so few neurons achieve such prowess? Neuroscientist Greg Gage and his colleagues explore how a dragonfly unerringly locks onto its preys and captures it within milliseconds using just sensors and a fake fly. [TED]