Researchers at Boston University have developed a metamaterial, or material engineered to have specific properties not found naturally, that blocks more than 90% of sound. Unlike current sound barriers, which capture sound, this new material reflects sound while still allowing air to pass through. As a result, this new design has applications in normally loud environments where airflow is critical - jet engines, air conditioning, and more. It is also lightweight and cheaper to manufacture, so the possibilities are endless!
Check out a news article about this exciting development here. The paper can be read here.
UCLA researchers have developed a falling snow triboelectric generator, which produces charge through static electricity. Snow, which is positively charged, is combined with silicon to collect the charge produced when two meet. This could prove extremely useful for solar panels, which are normally rendered useless when covered in snow. Created using 3D printing, the device is small, inexpensive, and flexible, leading to many potential applications.
Check out a news article about this here. The paper can be read here.