Laser engineering to produce hydrophobic surfaces

TheEngineer has an article covering work by scientists at the University of Rochester who have achieved the surface modification of metals, by treatment with lasers, to make the surfaces hydrophilic or super-hydrophobic. In their study they used titanium, brass and platinum.

Bouncing water drops

Bouncing water drops from modified metal surface

Original paper:


Modelling Climate Successfully by Time Travel?

I saw on website new that Monckton et al have published a paper “Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model” about climate modelling, and why previous models ‘run hot’.

Monkton etal Climate Model

Monckton et al Climate Model

As seen in their figure 6, their model matches very well with the observations. One strange thing to me, is that they have observations of the temperature change until the year 2050, although currently the start of 2015. Does this mean that Monckton et al are able to get information from the future, maybe they have a time machine? It seems more likely that they made a serious mistake in the presentation of their results. Since this paper should have been subject to much scrutiny before publishing (given the controversy of the subject) it seems probable to me that the figure purposefully misleads the reader.

As can reported at skeptical science, in 2012, Christopher Monckton has been using this graph for some time. It seems that the error is to compare data from two different periods of time. The graph presented in the recent paper is less carefully presented than the version used in a 2012 presentation. If we look at the old graph we can understand that the data is not from the future, it’s actually the previous trend.

Credibility gap

Monckton’s credibility gap

They also suggest a parallel with another UK time travelling Lord, could it be that Christopher Monckton is  a Time Lord?



All Royal Society Publications freely available this week

Fill your boots.

Available from Monday 20th October 2014 till Sunday 26 October 2014.

Royal Society Publishing -- 1 week free access for all.

Royal Society Publishing — 1 week free access for all.

Please make paper recommendations in the comments!

Grammar; codpieces.

This is an instructive video which explains about how to use English grammar. I will try to watch is several times, I dream of using semicolon correctly.

Part 1

Part 2

Future of steel production?

Details of a new process have been revealed, for alloying electrochemical production of iron, either for making iron (and oxygen!) on the moon or making electrolytic iron (and oxygen) on earth. The original process was developed for release of oxygen from moon rocks, using iridium metal electrodes. The new process uses chromium-iron electrodes.

The process has the potential to further reduce the carbon dioxide produced during steelmaking, when combined with electricity production from ‘carbon-dioxide neutral’ source.

Danger of using spreadsheets

The dangers of using spreadsheets for calculations should never be underestimated, it’s so easy to make a copy paste error, or inadvertently corrupt your calculation. But it seems from reports that this may have been one of the more costly mistakes, and somehow not picked up by the peer review process, or public dissemination sufficient to reproduce the results. Economists from Harvard studied debt and GDP growth level and found that a 90% GDP ratio was a magic number which was bad for the economy, but recently an undergraduate repeated there calculations and found they were wrong (-0.1% GDP growth predicted should have been +2.2% growth). This results has been quoted by policy leaders to justify austerity measures around the world. The economists stand by their conclusions.

Correlation is not causation?

Link to youtube video by Liberal Viewer

Severe Tempering of Bainite Generated at Low Transformation Temperatures

These are some pictures of the beautiful microstructure of super-bainite. The fine structure of bainite plates and austenite thin films is formed by isothermal transformation at 200°C (or alternatively 473.15 K, or 392 F). With this fine microstructure (or more accurately nanostructure) it is possible to reach very high strength in steel (more than 2 GPa ultimate tensile strength).


Super Bainite Before Tempering (as transformed at 200°C)

Super Bainite Before Tempering (as transformed at 200°C), as seen in transmission electron microscope

Super bainite as transformed at 200°C, as seen in scanning electron microscope.

Super bainite as transformed at 200°C, as seen in scanning electron microscope.


'Super bainite' after severe tempering.

‘Super bainite’ after severe tempering.

This is what happens if you attempt to temper at the highest possible temperature. As expected the microstructure approches equilibrium and coarsens. We found that the temperature calculated using thermodynamic software is not applicable to this heat treatment. Rather than an equilibrium structure of ferrite and carbides as we expected at this temperature, austenite, ferrite and carbide phases were all stable. On cooling, the austenite transformed, usually to pearlite as seen here, but in some cases bainite and martensite were also observed.

Read more: Severe tempering of bainite generated at low transformation temperatures ( or Severe tempering of bainite generated at low transformation temperatures (phase transformations)