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At SLAC, atoms, diamonds self-assemble into tiny wires For specialists who work in operate with both light and nanotechnology and manipu- electricity, and fabrics that can late materials on an atomic and generate electricity as a result of molecular level, it is fortunate movement. “The process is a simple, that some atoms, when they’re placed near enough to each one-pot synthesis,” said Hao other, will respond to natural Yan, a Stanford postdoctoral forces of attraction and assem- researcher and lead author of a ble themselves into tiny shapes paper published in the journal Nature Materials. “You dump such as tubes and spheres. the ingredients In a recent together and breakthrough, scientists at The development may you can get in half Stanford Unihave uses in creating results an hour. It’s versity, the D e p a r t m e n t superconductors that almost as if the diamondoids of Energy’s conduct electricity know where SLAC Nationwithout losses. they want to al Accelerator go.” Laboratory in The particles fit together in Menlo Park and other research centers exploited this tendency ways similar to LEGO blocks, to develop a method to create said Fei Hua Li, a Stanford self-assembling wires, according graduate student who was key to a recent SLAC announcement. to synthesizing the wires and Investigators allowed atoms of determining how they grew. copper and sulfur to collaborate “The copper and sulfur atoms with diamondoids — tiny bits of each building block wound of diamond found naturally in up in the middle, forming the liquid petroleum. The resulting conductive core of the wire, and wires are three atoms wide and the bulkier diamondoids wound up on the outside, forming the insulated (by the diamonds). Materials of “just one or two insulating shell,” she said. “You can imagine weaving dimensions ... can have very different, extraordinary properties (such wires) into fabrics to compared to the same material generate energy,” said study made in bulk,” the scientists say. co-author Nicholas Melosh, The development may have an associate professor at SLAC uses in creating superconduc- and Stanford and investigator tors that conduct electricity with SIMES, the Stanford Instiwithout losses, devices that tute for Materials and Energy

Woodside woman crowned rodeo queen Leandra Steenkamp of Woodside was crowned rodeo queen at the recent Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace. The recent graduate of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont won the title of Miss Grand National 2017 after a day of competition against three other contestants. Each contestant competed in a horsemanship contest, was interview by judges, sold at least 100 tickets to the rodeo, and gave a speech. Ms. Steenkamp’s speech was on the Exceptional Rodeo for special needs children sponsored by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The Miss Grand National crown and chaps were handed over to Ms. Steenkamp by Emilie Montoya, Miss Grand National 2016. As rodeo queen, Ms. Steenkamp will represent the Cow Palace Grand National Rodeo and the western way of life by traveling around Northern California to various events, including rodeos and parades. Ms. Steenkamp says she plans to return to Notre Dame de Namur University this year to get a master’s degree in clinical psychology. “I hope to use my education toward one day opening up my own therapeutic ranch.” Sciences at SLAC. “This method gives us a versatile toolkit where we can tinker with a number of ingredients and experimental conditions to create new materials with finely tuned electronic properties and interesting physics,” he said.

JNJ photography

Leandra Steenkamp, right, of Woodside has been named Miss Grand National 2017 by the Grand National Rodeo. She is with her predecessor, Miss Grand National 2016, Emilie Montoya.

An article at the website How Stuff Works notes that two graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed flexible floors that generate electricity as people step on them. Since one footstep generates about

enough electricity to light two 60-watt bulbs for one second, many footsteps would be needed for a practical application, but such floors could potentially generate power in train stations and malls, the article says. A

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The Almanac January 11, 2017  
The Almanac January 11, 2017