New Discoveries Shock Scientists

By Olivia Hamblin, Staff Writer

NEW METAL CAN CONDUCT ELECTRICITY BUT NOT HEAT

Recently, a groundbreaking discovery has left scientists across the globe baffled. Vanadium Dioxide is 10 times more conductive of electricity than heat, making it a pure contradiction of the law that relates electrical and thermal conductivity in metals. Researchers from Berkeley Lab’s Material Sciences Division alongside ones from UC Berkeley discovered this fascinating yet unusual exception.

The explanation lies in the movement of electrons inside of Vanadium Dioxide. Typically in metals, heat is easily transferrable because electrons can move around freely. In this metal, the electrons move in a structured, marching band-esque way. This motion is unfavorable in terms of heat.

The research team admits that more tests must be made before vanadium dioxide is ready for commercial purposes, such as developing more energy-efficient building materials like window coatings that simultaneously can deflect heat and keep heat in, depending on the season.

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Saturn’s moon Mimas as photographed by Nasa. (Caption by Erin Neil.)

MYTHBUSTED
Saturn’s ‘Death Star’ moon, Mimas, may not have an ocean after all

Contrary to scientists’ proposal in 2014 that there was an ocean beneath the icy surface of Mimas to explain an odd wobble in the moon’s orbit, scientists today say that that is probably untrue. Taking into account the moon’s orbit, researchers at Arizona State University found that the ocean would produce too much tidal stress to contain an ocean.

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