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February 21 2018

Reposted fromFlau Flau viapsyentist psyentist

Super-Holz – dieses Brett ist stärker als Stahl

US-Ingenieure haben ein Verfahren entwickelt, das Holz zehn Mal härter und stabiler macht. Das nachwachsende Material soll Stahl und sogar Titan ersetzen. Sogar Flugzeuge könnten daraus gebaut werden.


Liangbing Hu und Teng Li arbeiten an der Universität von Maryland, beide sind Holzspezialisten. Liangbing Hu hat beispielsweise schon durchsichtiges Holz entwickelt. Ihre neueste Entdeckung könnte zur Renaissance natürlicher Baustoffe führen. Aus ihrem Super-Holz könnte man sogar Flugzeuge herstellen.  "Unsere Art Holz zu behandeln, macht es zwölf Mal stärker und zehn Mal härter als natürliches Holz", sagte Liangbing Hu zu "Nature". "Es kann mit Stahl oder sogar Titanlegierungen konkurrieren, weil es stark und langlebig ist. Man kann damit auch Carbonwerkstoffe ersetzen. Unser Material ist allerdings viel billiger."

Holz in der Hexenküche

Die Besonderheit: "Es ist stark und zäh. Eine Kombination, die normalerweise nicht in der Natur zu finden ist", erläutert Teng Li. "Es ist so stark wie Stahl, aber sechsmal leichter. Es braucht zehnmal mehr Energie zum Brechen als natürliches Holz. Es kann sogar gebogen und geformt werden."

Es handelt sich allerdings auch nicht um natürlich gewachsene Bretter. Liangbing Hu und Teng Li nutzen Holz nur als Basis für einen chemischen Prozess. Das neue Super-Holz erhält seine Superkräfte durch ein zweistufiges Verfahren. Zunächst werden Holzproben in einer wässrigen Mischung aus Natronlauge und Natriumsulfit gekocht. Mit ihr werden die Bestandteile Lignin und Hemicellulose aus dem Material entfernt. Danach wird das behandelte Holz bei hohem Druck heiß gepresst. Dadurch brechen die natürlichen Zellwände zusammen und spezielle Nanofasern entstehen aus der Zellulose. Das Endergebnis ist ein sehr verdichtetes Holz, das viel stärker ist als das natürliche Material. Der eigentliche Trick soll die Reduktion des Lignin sein, so werden die mechanisches Leistungsparameter des verdichteten Holzes optimiert.

 "Weichhölzer wie Kiefer oder Balsaholz, die schnell wachsen, können langsamer wachsende, aber dichtere Hölzer wie Teakholz in Möbeln oder Gebäuden ersetzen", so Hu. "Diese Art von Holz könnte in Autos, Flugzeugen und Gebäuden verwendet werden – überall dort wo Stahl verwendet wird.

[paper hier]

Reposted fromparlin parlin viapsyentist psyentist

February 18 2018

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February 10 2018

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February 07 2018

1,600 Occult Books Now Digitized & Put Online, Thanks to the Ritman Library and Da Vinci Code Author Dan Brown

Back in December we brought you some exciting news. Thanks to a generous donation from Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, Amsterdam’s Ritman Library—a sizable collection of pre-1900 books on alchemy, astrology, magic, and other occult subjects—has been digitizing thousands of its rare texts under a digital education project cheekily called “Hermetically Open.” We are now pleased to report, less than two months later, that the first 1,617 books from the Ritman project have come available in their online reading room. The site is still in beta, so to speak; in their Facebook announcement, the Ritman admits they are “still improving the whole presentation,” which is a bit clunky at the moment. But for fans and students of this literature, a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for full access to hundreds of rare occult texts.

Visitors should be aware that these books are written in several different European languages. Latin, the scholarly language of Europe throughout the Medieval and Early Modern periods, predominates, and it’s a peculiar Latin at that, laden with jargon and alchemical terminology. Other books appear in German, Dutch, and French. Readers of some or all of these languages will of course have an easier time than monolingual English speakers, but there is still much to offer those visitors as well.




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In addition to the pleasure of paging through an old rare book, even virtually, English speakers can quickly find a collection of readable books by clicking on the “Place of Publication” search filter and selecting Cambridge or London, from which come such notable works as The Man-Mouse Takin in a Trap, and tortur’d to death for gnawing the Margins of Eugenius Philalethes, by Thomas Vaughn, published in 1650.

The language is archaic—full of quirky spellings and uses of the “long s”—and the content is bizarre. Those familiar with this type of writing, whether through historical study or the work of more recent interpreters like Aleister Crowley or Madame Blavatsky, will recognize the many formulas: The tracing of magical correspondences between flora, fauna, and astronomical phenomena; the careful parsing of names; astrology and lengthy linguistic etymologies; numerological discourses and philosophical poetry; early psychology and personality typing; cryptic, coded mythology and medical procedures. Although we’ve grown accustomed through popular media to thinking of magical books as cookbooks, full of recipes and incantations, the reality is far different.

Encountering the vast and strange treasures in the online library, one thinks of the type of the magician represented in Goethe’s Faust, holed up in his study,

Where even the welcome daylight strains
But duskily through the painted panes.
Hemmed in by many a toppling heap
Of books worm-eaten, gray with dust,
Which to the vaulted ceiling creep

The library doesn’t only contain occult books. Like the weary scholar Faust, alchemists of old “studied now Philosophy / And Jurisprudence, Medicine,— / And even, alas! Theology.” Click on Cambridge as the place of publication and you’ll find the work above by Henry More, “one of the celebrated ‘Cambridge Platonists,’” the Linda Hall Library notes, “who flourished in mid-17th-century and did their best to reconcile Plato with Christianity and the mechanical philosophy that was beginning to make inroads into British natural philosophy.” Those who study European intellectual history know well that More’s presence in this collection is no anomaly. For a few hundred years, it was difficult, if not impossible, to separate the pursuits of theology, philosophy, medicine, and science (or “natural philosophy”) from those of alchemy and astrology. (Isaac Newton is a famous example of a mathematician/scientist/alchemist/believer in strange apocalyptic predictions.)

Given the Ritman’s alacrity and eagerness to publish this first batch of texts, even as it works to smooth out its interface, we’ll likely see many hundreds more books become available in the next month or so. For updates, follow the Ritman Library and The Embassy of the Free Mind—Dan Brown’s own Dutch library of rare occult books—on Facebook.

Enter the Ritman's new digital collection of occult texts here.

Related Content:

3,500 Occult Manuscripts Will Be Digitized & Made Freely Available Online, Thanks to Da Vinci Code Author Dan Brown

Isaac Newton’s Recipe for the Mythical ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Is Being Digitized & Put Online (Along with His Other Alchemy Manuscripts)

Aleister Crowley Reads Occult Poetry in the Only Known Recordings of His Voice (1920)

Josh Jones  is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

1,600 Occult Books Now Digitized & Put Online, Thanks to the Ritman Library and <i>Da Vinci Code</i> Author Dan Brown is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Reposted from02myhumsci-01 02myhumsci-01
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