Nanostructures in butterfly wings

A few weeks ago (before it started snowing!) I went on a walk in the garden across the street from the University of Wisconsin chemistry building and saw an abundance of beautiful butterflies. I noticed that the butterflies were iridescent in the sunlight as they fluttered from flower to flower. I wondered: does the iridescence …

Podcast Ep 15. The Art of Beehives, Foam, & Bubbles: An Interview with Peter Krsko

Artist Peter Krsko uses his background in physics and materials science to study and communicate about nature. He is described as a "bioinspired artist whose approach combines science and art, participatory, interactive and community arts, and play with hands-on education." On this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Krsko about art, science, community building, …

How Do Skis Ski, and How Do Nanomaterials Make Skiing More Fun?

different types of skiing

‘Tis the season for snowy weather here in the Upper Midwest! There are many ways to enjoy snow, but ever since my parents strapped a pair on my feet at the mature age of 3 years old, my favorite way to celebrate winter has been on skis. From carving downhill (like Figure 1a) to cranking …

From Leap Year to Frogs to Nanotechnology

In case you hadn’t noticed, today is February 29! That means this is a leap year. Occurring once every four years, leap years have 366 days rather than the usual 365, with the additional day occurring on February 29th. The name “leap year” originates from the fact that while a fixed date in the calendar …

Mimicking Nature’s Nanotechnology: From a butterfly wing to anti-counterfeit technologies

Have you ever wondered where the inspiration behind new technologies comes from? We don’t have to go too far to find out; it is enough to just look out the window! Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. -Albert Einstein Yes, nature is out there, standing as a giant laboratory of …

Nature’s nanotechnology, bio-mimicry, and making the superpowers of your dreams a reality

Only over the past 20 years have we begun to harness the unique properties of nano-scale materials, while nature has been using nano- “technology” since the beginning of time to prevent infections, repel water, create colors, and climb vertical surfaces.  Inspired by nature’s advances, scientists and engineers are generating biomimetic applications for nanotechnology in today’s …