Sunday, November 13, 2011

this is too cool for words

Here's an article (with video) about a superhydrophobic coating. Do be sure to watch that video-- it's amazing, especially when the guy pours chocolate syrup on a treated shoe.

Imagine the stuff you could waterproof with that product! Imagine the ridiculous new rain gear you could create-- or the (temporary) kitchenware, like bowls, made out of materials that you'd normally never use as bowls!

This is also a good opportunity to learn some vocab: Superhydrophobic breaks down to the roots super (Latin super, exceeding/above the norm), hydro (Greek hydros, water), and phobia (Greek phobos, fear or dread). Something that's superhydrophobic, then, is abnormally "afraid" of water. Obviously, in science, inanimate or abiotic objects aren't described as being literally fearful; the idea, in this case, is that a hydrophobic surface will repel any water that comes in contact with it. According to the video, superhydrophobic materials don't merely resist water: they shoot water away from themselves.

(Soft contact lenses, meanwhile, are described as hydrophilic. The Greek philia means "love.")


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