From light to dark – Exploring redshift and dark energy

In 1666 in a darkened room, Newton placed a glass prism in a sunbeam emanating from a small hole in a shutter and generated a rainbow on the opposite wall. He correctly, though controversially, concluded that the colours he saw were components of white light.
Past winner: This biodegradable pack transports sterile maggots used for wound management

Reach for the sky - Starpack 2008 preview

IOP: The Packaging Society has created a one-day event that encompasses the Starpack Summit, a high-level strategic packaging conference themed Packaging Dilemma – The Consumer Challenge’, the Starpack Industry Awards and Student and Schools Starpack Awards.

Right place right time - Nanomaterials for drug-loaded carriers

Sophisticated technologies are used to discover new drugs, which result in a broad variety of active compounds with high specificity and potency. These drugs need to reach the right place (cell or tissue) in the body, in an adequate concentration and for a specific time period, to have the desired therapeutic effect.

Small margin for error - Measuring and testing materials at the nanoscale

Nanotechnology, thin films and coatings are becoming increasingly evident and finding function in many industrial applications. To simulate the service life of a particular system and improve efficiency, it is important to characterise the material’s properties.

Notable niobium - The Araxá niobium mine

Michael Forrest visited the Araxá niobium mine in Brazil to learn about the metal's production. Current production capacity is around 80,000t. Of this, 70,000t is of standard grade ferro-niobium, 4,000t is of high purity oxide, 3,000t of vacuum grade ferro-niobium or nickel niobium, 300t of optical grade oxide and 210t of pure niobium.