Hacking The Universe is about figuring out how things work. Any things. All things. But specifically, for now, information security things and things about science.

solar system

3D Printing Graphene Aerogels

Aerogel, aka “frozen smoke” is a light, porous, nearly translucent, matrix of silica, made by removing the liquid part of a gel. Aerogels can also be made from metals and from carbon. Graphene versions of aerogel offer intriguing combinations of strength and electrical conductivity. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory is working on a process that uses 3D […]

3D Printing Wired Fabric Objects

Soft, deformable, 3D objects are created by laser cutting 2D sheets of fabric, then bonding them together with heat sensitive adhesive. Special sheets of conductive fabric can be included as needed to create electronic capabilities. The end product is soft, flexible, interactive objects. A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects – [youtube.com] We […]

Third Person Driver Camera System

Using cameras to augment driver vision has eliminated blind spots. This new version uses a selectable view angle to create a third person viewpoint similar to that used in video games. This technology is likely to expand beyond cars and driving to include many aspects of our daily lives. As video I/O points continue to […]

Colloidal Camouflage

Cuttlefish dynamically change both the color and texture of their skin to create camouflage that matches the environment around them. A University of Nebraska research team is doing the same thing using colloids in a multilayered structure. When light hits the colloid layer, heat convection reassembles it to replicate the light pattern. This technique is […]

Synthesizing Intelligence

We are constantly getting better at designing software tools to help us navigate an ever growing ocean of information and negotiate methods of applying it wisely. We ask our tools for advice and decide how to use the advice they offer. We use some of these new tools to aid in the design of better […]

Things That Work Better in Space

THINGS THAT WORK BETTER IN COLD Infrared/heat sensors Superconductors Semiconductors Power converters Magnets Cryogenic hardening Cryogenic milling/grinding Cryosurgery Freeze drying THINGS THAT WORK BETTER IN A VACUUM Vapor deposition processes (chemical and physical) Carburization of steel Electron beam welding Freeze drying Dry etching Distilling High speed devices (ultra-centrifuges, flywheel energy storage) Pressure driven machines (positive […]

Smart Dust Has Arrived

Smart Dust has been an almost fictional idea of very small computing “motes” that can collect and report data. Like small particles of dust, these little computing sensor nodes could be used to collect information in a variety of applications. By simply injecting some smart dust into a flow of liquid or a tornado, a […]

Living In Lava Tubes on the Moon

Still just a theory, the idea of huge lava tubes existing on the Moon has taken a big step toward becoming a reality. A team from Purdue University recently presented some work on models based on lava flow channels visible from the surface. The models suggest that lave tube caves on the Moon could be […]

Printing Liquid Metal

Flexible conductors printed on elastic materials is possible using a liquid metal nanoparticle filled ink. A new class of metallic nanoparticles is likely to spawn breakthroughs in fields such as: soft robotics, conformable electronics, wireless communications, micro/nanofluidics, wearable/implantable devices, and energy storage and transport systems. Inkjet-printed liquid metal could bring wearable tech, soft robotics – […]

1854 – mercury vacuum pump

In 1854, Heinrich Geissler invented the mercury displacement vacuum pump, which led to high quality vacuum tubes, which in turn led to the invention of the transistor. PRECURSOR: -0460 – Democritus 1206 – suction pump 1643 – barometer 1650 – vacuum pump SUBSEQUENT: 1855 – vacuum tube 1875 – Crookes’ tube 1897 – electron discovered […]